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The history of statistics, their develop 

3 1924 013 894 997 

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History of Statistics 

Their Development and Progress 
in Many Countries 

In Memoirs to Commemorate the Seventy 

Fifth Anniversary of The American 

Statistical Association 

Collected and Edited by 


Published for 

The American Statistical Association 


QCde illacmtUan Companp of jgeto ^vk 



Thb American Statistical Association 

COirCOBDi IT. B. X. 





Historical and Commemorative Addresses 

By John Koren, President 

look FOB THE Future 15 

By S. N. D. North, LL.D., Assistant Secretary and^Statistidan of the 
Carnegie Endowmeni for IniernatioruA Peace; Ex-President of the 
American Statistical Assodalvm; Former Director of the United 
States Census 


History and Development of Official Statistics 
IN Many Countries 


By George Handlet Knibbs, C.M.G., F.S.S., Honorary Member 
American Statistical Association, Member I.I.S., etc. 


By Dr. Robert Meyer, Privy Councillor, Former Minister of Finance, 
late President of the Imperial and Royal Central Statistical Commis- 


By Dr. Armand Julin, Director-General of the Belgian Labor Bureau, 
Member of the International Statistical Institute 


By Ernest H. Godfrey, F.S.S., Member of the International Statistical 
Institute; Editor, Census and Statistics Office, Ottawa, Canada 



By Adolf Jensen, CAief of the Statistical Department of Denmark 


By Fernand Faueb, Professor of Law at the University of Paris, Member 
of the Central Statistical Commission 


By Dr. Eugene WiJRZBtrRGEH, Privy Councillor, Director of the Royal 
Statistical State Office in Dresden 


By Sir Athelstane Baines, C.S.I., Ex-President of the Royal Statis- 
tical Society 


By De. Ladislaus von Budat, Ministerial^Sektionsrat 

INDIA 415 

By Sir Athelstane Baines, C.S.I., Ex-President of the Royal Statistical 


By C. A. AsCHiEKl, Inspector-General of Statistics 


By S. Takarabe, Professor of Statistics at the University of Tokyo 

NETHERLANDS.; . . : 427 

By Dr C. a. Verrijn Sttjart, Professor of Statistics and Economics at 
the University of Groningen, Chairman of the Central Commission for 


By A. N. KiAER, Chi^ and Director of the Statistical Bureau, 1867-1913 


By Dr. A. Katjfmann, Professor of Statistics at Petrograd 

* For the countries marked with an * the articles were promised by the authors 
named, but their work was interrupted by the war and the articles have not 
arrived in time to be included in the volume. 



By Dr. Edvabd Abosenius, Firxt Actuary of the Central Statistical Bureau 


FEDERAL STATISTICS. By John Ctjmmings, Ph.D., Statistician. 
United Stales Bureau of the Census 

STATE STATISTICS. By Chableb F. Gettemt, Director, Mass- 
achusetts Bureau of Statistics 


The motive that inspired this volume was to mark the 
Seventy fifth Anniversary of the American Statistical Asso- 
ciation by a serviceable contribution to our knowledge of 
statistics. The opportunity was found in preparing a his- 
tory of the development and organization of official statis- 
tics throughout the world. By the aid of certain commemo- 
rative publications and other scattered documents one 
could piece together more or less complete sketches of the 
status of statistics in this or that country covering various 
periods of time; for most countries comprehensive and 
authoritative statements were lacking. The story had not 
yet been written as a whole and in detail how different 
nations have systematized information about themselves, 
what statistical means they employed, and what has been 
accomplished to the end that national forces and resources 
might be placed under wise direction and legislation. 

The history of the development and organization of 
official statistics is not a barren record of steps in a scientific 
process of dealing with facts, but of efforts to get a working 
knowledge about the fundamental elements in the life of a 
country — the population, its environment, and its manifold 
economic and social relations. By taking measure of these 
elements, statistics reveal the condition of growth and trend 
in every direction and set out the milestones for the guidance 
of the administrator and legislator. But the manner in 
which the science of statistics has been applied also carries 
many practical lessons, for out of the abundant experience 
of others the rest of us must learn. Although the official 
statisticians of the different countries in the main are occu- 
pied with the same problems, the conditions under which 
they labor vary according to the tradition, experience, 
recognized needs and legislation of each country, out of 
which have grown the present forms of statistical organiza- 


tion. No two countries have an identical programme of 
statistical work, nor the same agencies for carrying it out. 
The common aim has been diversely pursued, sometimes 
disappointingly and again with marvelous success. To tell 
the story of it all is the purpose of our Memorial Volume. 
Happily it is told by those who know it best, who in large 
part have lived it, and whose authority illuminates every 
page. The foremost statisticians of many lands were in- 
duced to write these memoirs to meet a need of so great an 
importance that not even the Great War could obliterate 

The preliminary arrangements for the volume were made 
at the end of 1913 and the beginning of the following year. 
It was hoped to publish by the close of 1914. Some of the 
manuscripts were at hand before the outbreak of the war, 
and among them, the history of the statistics of Belgium, 
written by Dr. Armand JuUn, reached the editor shortly 
prior to the fateful August 4, 1914. But several of the most 
important memoirs were still uncompleted, and the world 
was at war. After much anxious correspondence a Russian 
collaborator was secured, in Professor A. Kaufmann of Petro- 
grad, but he could not finish his exhaustive study until the 
second year of the war. Dr. Eugene Wiirzburger, Director 
of the State Statistical Department of Saxony, had only 
written a few pages of the history of German statistics when 
the exigencies of the war compelled him to lay it aside and 
not until 1916 could he conclude the diflficult task. M. Fer- 
nand Faure, Professor of Law at the University of Paris and 
editor of the Revue Politique et Parlementaire, who had 
undertaken to prepare the memoir for France, was obliged 
to postpone it from time to time at the call of other duties. 
For most of the important belligerent countries the expected 
contributions were ready a year ago; but it was resolved not 
to publish until France could be worthily represented^ An 
appeal was finally made to His Excellency M. Jusserand, the 
ambassador of France to the United States, who graciously 
promised to intercede with his government so that Professor 


Faure might be given leisure to assemble his rich material. 
This has been done in an extensive memoir of rare merit. 
Also for some of the lesser countries were the studies com- 
pleted amid the distractions of the Great War. 

Probably no other international work has been prepared 
under greater diflSculties, and none of more permanent value. 
It has come into being during a world conflict; it is without 
a counterpart in any language; it could not now be dupli- 
cated; and it marks a distinct era in official statistics which 
the war brought to a close. From this world-wide disturb- 
ance a new order of things will emerge that is certain pro- 
foundly to affect the future development of statistical work. 
Thus the volume in a special sense becomes an invaluable 
historical document telling the ways and means whereby 
civilized countries so far have taken measure of their material 
and social conditions — a monument to a bygone age. 

The practical usefulness of these memoirs the reader 
must search out for himself. Only this may be said : There 
is nowhere evidence of contentment with past performances 
in the field of statistics; the shortcomings of most forms of 
statistical organization are cheerfully recognized; there is 
manifest desire, even expectancy, of richer service under 
better auspices; and the need is emphasized of cooperative 
effort so that the statistician's dream may be realized 
of international comparability in many statistical under- 
takings. For long years the masters of our science have 
striven toward this goal. Must they henceforth go their 
several ways because those who would stand together for 
the time have been parted? Perhaps this Memorial Volume 
may in slight measure serve to strengthen the international 
bonds and reknit those that have been severed, since it indi- 
cates so clearly that we cannot attain the highest ends of 
statistics except through mutual understanding and help- 

To the many collaborators, some of whom the editor has 
unblushingly importuned at all seasons to complete their 
promised tasks, the American Statistical Association begs to 


extend its lasting gratitude. The volume is a memorial to 
the dead and living among them as well as to our Association. 
Thanks are also due to the members who have assisted in 
preparing translations of articles and given other support. 

J. K. 
January 1st, 1918. 




By John Koren 

President, 1913 and 19U 
Seventy fifth Anniversary, February 13, 1914 

A page of the unpretentious volume containing the first 
proceedings of our society bears this legend: "Here close 
the records of the American Statistical Association for the 
first quarter of a century." A special committee which had 
been appointed to consider the advisability of a formal 
celebration of the event, reported it to be "inexpedient." 
Did modesty deter them, or perhaps the overhanging shad- 
ows of the Civil War.'' The records do not say. We of a 
later day know that these pathfinders in a statistical wilder- 
ness were not at all disheartened as they looked back upon 
their labors of twenty five years. Indeed, there seems to 
have been something prophetic in the words, "Here close the 
records of the American Statistical Association for the first 
quarter of a century." Who wrote them looked forward 
to other milestones in the history of our organization, to 
new and perhaps ampler records of achievement; and we 
are gathered to bear testimony that his faith did not belie 

That small company of men, meeting in 1839 at No. 15 
Comhill, Boston, to organize a statistical society, built 
securely upon a broad foundation. "The objects of the 
society," says the first constitution, "shall be to collect, 
preserve and diffuse statistical information in the different 
departments of human knowledge." How these objects were 
to be reached is elaborately set forth in the by-laws, no less 
than thirty three in number. They provide, among other 
things, that "the operations of this Association shall prin- 
cipally be directed to the statistics of the United States; and 
they shall be as general and as extensive as possible and not 


confined to any particular part of the country. . . 
The labors of the Association may embrace all subjects." 
The by-laws also planned for a statistical library and stated 
that "efforts to diffuse statistical information shall be made 
by printing and publishing circulars, reports, a periodical or 
occasional volume." The very first committee appointed 
after organization had been perfected was one to have charge 
of eventual publications. 

From the outset membership in the Association was con- 
sidered a serious affair. On being elected, the fellows sub- 
scribed to a solemn "obligation" to conform to the constitu- 
tion and by-laws. It was made "the duty of every fellow 
to prepare at least one article a year on some statistical 
subject which shall be at the disposal of the publishing 
committee." And to add greater dignity to fellowship, it 
was stipulated that "a diploma, in a form prescribed by the 
board of directors, signed by the president and recording 
secretary, accompanaed with the seal of the Association, 
shall be given to every member." 

Thus seventy five years ago the fair enterprise was launched 
by a little band of enthusiasts who labored diligently to 
inform themselves and others, and who, looking forward 
with rare courage to the things to be, rather than to the 
present, wrote aboiit the Science of Statistics, always spelling 
it with a capital S. At that time the professional statis- 
tician was not, and the statistical output almost negligible. 

Even in its early stages the Association lacked that paro- 
chial flavor which some have imputed to it. It was not 
preoccupied by local affairs or wasting time in mutual self- 
admiration over Massachusetts men and things. At the 
very outset contact with a larger world was sought through 
its foreign and corresponding secretaries, and within a year 
it counted corresponding members in about a dozen states. 
At the first quarterly meeting it reached out beyond the 
United States by electing foreign members, the fir^t of whom 
was the foremost statistician of his day, Adolphe Quetelet. 

There is something touching in the fidelity with which 


the founders of our Association sought to work out its objects. 
Year by year the same small group, usually under a dozen, 
regularly attended the four quarterly meetings, encouraging 
each other to original eflfort in statistical work and garnering 
diligently helpful knowledge from various sources. Nothing 
testifies more eloquently to the statistical poverty of the 
time than the publications collected as the beginnings of a 
library. Among the works donated we find mention of 
Pitkin's "Statistical View," Hazard's "Statistical Register," 
"Bills of Mortality of Philadelphia from 1820 to 1839," by 
Dr. Henry Bond, the few volumes of the United States 
Census, schedules for taking the census, statistical forms 
and questions used by the Statistical Society of London, 
forms used in France for the registration of births, marriages 
and deaths, unnamed statistical tables of Massachusetts by 
A. W. B. Peabody, etp. Then there was the impeifect 
material found in local, state and federal reports of all kinds 
which were collected in large numbers. Many non-statis- 
tical works were presented to the library, sometimes by the 
authors. Thus Emerson gave his lectures and Prescott 
various volumes. 

A feature of these early meetings was the reading of 
communications of different sorts. Mention is made of 
letters received from President Martin Van Buren, Thomas 
L. Winthrop, John Pickering, Benjamin F. Butler, LL.D. 
(of New York), Levi Woodbury and William Prescott, all 
of them honorary members; and from Caleb Cushing, Lewis 
Cass, Governor Plummer, Thomas Lawson, Surgeon-General 
of the Army. Following the reading of letters came the 
statistical essay. The first one recorded was by Lemuel 
Shattuck on statistics of Saxony. The early addresses cov- 
ered such subjects as statistics of pauperism, of crime, of 
immigration, of the Massachusetts population, etc. Some 
bore curious titles. Thus the indefatigable long-time record- 
ing secretary of the Association, Joseph B. Felt, presented 
statistics of the number and kind of carriages in Massachu- 
setts in 1756. Another gave statistics of the funeral charges 


in the interment of Governor Winslow in 1680, and once, 
when there must have been a dearth of statistical material, 
someone read a paper on a tornado that had disturbed the 
calm of Medford. 

Not all who dived into the uncharted statistical seas 
brought up a perfect pearl. Some of us fail to do so now, 
and those intrepid founders of our Association were indeed 
rari nantes in gurgite vasto. Yet solid contributions to knowl- 
edge were made. Within ten years there had been read 
before the Association more than thirty addresses upon a 
wide range of topics. The question of publication soon 
became pressing. Although the first volume of the Associa- 
tion was not published until 1847, the first part of it appeared 
in 1843, the second in 1845 and the last in 1847. "They 
give," says Dr. Samuel A. Green, "a large amount of original 
statistical matter, and on every page show signs of patient 
research and thorough work." * 

But the Association found other work to hand than that 
of reading essays, and soon set about the greater task of 
improving the sources of statistical knowledge. Naturally 
enough, attention was first turned to vital statistics. Al- 
ready in 1840 a committee was appointed to "lay the subject 
of registration before the General Court," and in the follow- 
ing year a committee was formed to report on a plan of 
registration. Evidently, the legislature was not very tract- 
able, for it was memoriahzed on the subject of vital statistics 
at intervals for many years. Other things for which the 
Association sought legislative authority during the first 
twenty five years of its existence were: The appointment of 
a sanitary commission (1847-8); for improved hospital sta- 
tistics; for returns to the Secretary of State of pauperism, 
crime and immigration (1850); for a decennial census of 
the commonwealth beginning 1855 (1850) ; for the establish- 
ment of a state board of health, to have charge of registration 

• An account of the collections of the American Statistical Association by 
the Hon. Saml. A. Green, M.D., Librarian Massachusetts Historical Society, 
new series of publications No. 31. 


and of the census, and several other matters. For long years 
afterwards the Association continued its activity for the 
betterment of Massachusetts statistics; and to its efforts is 
due in large part that this commonwealth has taken foremost 
rank in statistical work. 

Meanwhile, the Association had sought larger fields. 
Frdm the beginning it became closely identified with the 
affairs of the United States census. In 1844 it petitioned 
Congress that the Sixth Census "be revised and a new and 
accurate copy be published." As the time for taking the 
Seventh Census approached (1848), a committee was ap- 
pointed to prepare and submit plans for it and to memorialize 
Congress "to take measures to render the Census more 
accurate." It was at the suggestion of Lemuel Shattuck, a 
charter member of the Association, and N. Capen, another 
member, that Congress created a census board charged with 
the planning for the Census of 1850. Edward C. Lunt, in 
his History of the United States Census, records that "sev- 
eral eminent statisticians," — ^Mr. Shattuck, Dr. Chickering, 
Mr. Capen and Dr. Jarvis (then President of the Association), 
"were invited to Washington for consultation with the new 
board." Indeed, we know that Lemuel Shattuck, who had 
gained large practical experience in compiling a census of 
Boston for the year 1845 and in other ways, prepared most 
of the schedules adopted. Dr. Jarvis became closely identi- 
fied with the Eighth Census, that of i860, for he wrote the 
section on vital statistics. He complained (it sounds so 
reasonable) that the material furnished him was often 
"imperfect, inconsistent or unreasonable." The same inde- 
fatigable Dr. Jarvis also rendered valuable services to the 
Census of 1870. These men set high standards, insisting 
upon it that those entrusted with the oversight of important 
statistical work "should be appointed, not for their political 
opinions but for their scientific attainments and knowledge," 
and they were unsparing in their criticism of a faulty output. 

But to realize how closely this Association has been affili- 
ated throughout its entire history with the United States 


Census, it suflSces to record the names of some of the men 
at the head of the Censuses: John B. D. DeBow, superinten- 
dent of the Seventh, was a corresponding member of our 
Association; General Walker, its president from 1883-1897, 
had charge of the Ninth and initiated the Tenth; Colonel 
Wright, our president from 1897-1909, finished the Eleventh; 
S. N. D. North, another president, was the first director of 
the permanent census office; and E. Dana Durand, for sev- 
eral years one of our vice-presidents, was director of the 
Thirteenth Census. Space forbids the mention of all offi- 
cers and members who in the remote or recent past have 
rendered service to the great office of the census. 

Other branches of the federal government occasionally 
sought the help of the Association. Particularly was this 
true of the Treasury Department. In 1845 its secretary 
requested the Association to aid him in preparing his report 
to the next Congress. In later years the Treasury Depart- 
ment appears to have been in frequent communication with 
the Association and several of the secretaries have been 
among our members. The Commission on Education also 
drew upon the services of the Association. 

Although the Association from the beginning had sought 
touch with European statistical affairs, it was not until 1860 
that an opportunity presented itself for participation in an 
International Statistical Congress, the one held in London 
that year, and to which the Association fitly sent Dr. Jarvis 
as its representative. Some time later a letter he had 
written from London at that time was read at a meeting 
and the records state that in it he "detailed the action of 
Judge Longstreet of South Carolina, the delegate from the 
United States, and Mr. Dallas, the American Minister, 
relative to a remark of Lord Brougham construed to be 
an insult to our country, — ^Dallas and Longstreet seemed at 
the time to consider slavery of supreme importance." 

The next International Statistical Congress, at Berlin, 
1865, was attended by E. B. Eliott as the delegate from the 
Association. He, together with Dr. Jarvis, was delegated 


to the International Statistical Congress held at St. Peters- 
burg. Dr. Jarvis apparently did not go; the Hon. E. H. 
Derby, another member, seems to have taken his place. It 
is not recorded that the Association was oflScially represented 
at any other statistical meeting abroad until 1885, when 
General Walker attended the conferences at Paris and 
London, which resulted in the formation of the International 
Statistical Institute. It is interesting to note that as dele- 
gates returned from these international meetings, they were 
especially requested to report upon the progress of statistical 
science abroad. Another means of communication with 
European statistical interests was through the honorary and 
foreign members like Rawson W. Rawson, John Bowring, 
William Farr, some of whom from time to time sent in 
communications, and through statistical organizations, par- 
ticularly the Royal Statistical Society of England, whose 
publications are frequently referred to. 

While thus cultivating the larger fields, the Association 
adhered to its routine of quarterly meetings. Even during 
the dark years of the Civil War they did not suffer a single 
break, but much attention was then paid to military statis- 
tics, army hospitals, sanitation and similar subjects. The 
president, Dr. Jarvis, and several other members did notable 
service in sanitation work. At this period a new and simple 
constitution was adopted and the by-laws were reduced from 
thirty three to eight articles. The range of topics upon 
which addresses were read broadened in several directions. 
Statistics of commerce, finance, agriculture, taxation, shared 
attention with those of population, immigration, mortahty, 
etc. Occasionally consideration was given to statistical 
method. One matter upon which the Association declared 
itself deserves special mention. In 1868 the Association 
received an elaborate report on the metrical system of weights 
and measures, prepared by two of its members, and not only 
went on record as favoring its adoption by the people of the 
United States but voted to petition Congress on the subject 
and to ask the legislature to pass a statute requiring the 


metrical system to be taught in the public schools. The 
action seems to have attracted much attention at the time. 

The many-sided activities of the Association in the early 
periods of its life is the more surprising when one considers 
the limited membership. Until a time easily within our 
memory, little effort was made to get new members. Per- 
haps one reason for this was that a large constituency was 
not needed since little was pubKshed. The founding of a 
statistical journal was frequently discussed, but not even 
preliminary steps were taken. In 1869 the second volume 
of the collections was ordered printed — ^twenty two years 
after the first. Unfortunately, many delays occurred; and 
in 1873 President Jarvis reported that a part of the printed 
pages of this second volume, which had not been bound, 
were destroyed in the great Boston fire. 

A question that on many occasions agitated the Associa- 
tion and probably gave rise to long discussions was that of 
the library. It had grown apace through "donations," Dr. 
Jarvis alone having during his lifetime given it more than 
600 volumes. Dr. George C. Shattuck had been another 
constant benefactor also through contributions of money. 
How to house a collection which in 1875 numbered about 
2,500 volumes had long been a perplexity. Later on it 
received large accessions, and as the Association had no 
rooms of its own, the difficulty grew. Finally it was trans- 
ferred to the building of the Institute of Technology and in 
1899 found its permanent resting place in the Boston Public 
Library. Before that time it was officially designated as the 
"Jarvis Statistical Library." 

Before sketching the last twenty five years of the history 
of the Association, let me dwell for a moment on the person- 
ality of some of its early leaders. The brunt of work during 
the first years fell to Joseph B. Felt, long the recording 
secretary. The first president, the Hon. Richard Fletcher, 
seems to have been little more than an amiable figurehead. 
Mr. Felt appears to have possessed much curious learning 
with a decided bent for historical research. He was an 


indefatigable worker and contributed more than his share of 
essays. Of Lemuel Shattuck, another of the founders, we 
already know that he has been characterized as an eminent 
statistician. He deserved the name. His census of Boston 
is a remarkable piece of work, and the sanitary survey of 
Massachusetts prepared under his direction is a classic. He 
was not a frequent essayist, but gave unstinted service in a 
larger way. The other Shattuck, Dr. George C, president 
from 1846 to 1852, merits a warm tribute for his long and 
unflagging devotion to the Association. During life he gave 
liberally to it and he remembered it in his will. 

He was followed by Dr. Edward Jarvis, for thirty one years 
president, who stands out as the most remarkable figure 
among his contemporaries in the Association. I can do no 
better than to quote from the resolution adopted at his 
retirement as president. The Association then recorded the 
"Earnest expression of the manifold service he has rendered 
the Association by the able manner in which he has per- 
formed the duties of his oflice, by the ability with which he 
has represented the society at home and abroad, by the 
many valuable papers he has prepxred for us and read at 
our meetings, and by the assiduous and unwearied zeal with 
which he has labored at all times and in all ways for the 
advancement of the interests of the Association and of 
statistical knowledge." 

It may truly be said that no human interest was foreign 
to Dr. Jarvis. In his speeches and writings on statistical 
subjects he traversed the widest fields and illunainated many 
an unexplored corner. His chief interest lay, however, in 
vital statistics, for the improvement of which he labored 
unceasingly. For thirty one years he carried the heaviest 
load for the Association. It is on record that during this 
time he prepared more than thirty five papers and addresses 
for the meetings. Upon his retirement in 1882 the Associa- 
tion paid him the greatest tribute that lay within its gift by 
making him president emeritus. 

Another remarkable figure was that of S. B. Eliott, who 


s described in our records as an "insurance actuary and 
calculator," of "accurate discipline, mathematical learning 
and laborious industry." He later became attached to the 
United States Treasury Department. At the request of the 
Prussian government he constructed the first life table for 
that country (published in the proceedings of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, Albany, 1856). 
He later constructed a second life table for the same govern- 
ment. He made a number of studies of comparative mortal- 
ity for different coimtries which led him to the conclusion 
(in 1858) that "the mortality of the United States is such 
as to make us dependent on immigration for permanent in- 

Among men of the early days who deserve to be singled 
out for special tribute for their services are these: Hon. 
Amasa Walker (the father of Francis A.), for fifteen years 
a vice-president and frequent essayist; Joseph E. Worcester, 
foreign and corresponding secretary for twenty six years; 
John Ward Dean, in recognition of whose long service as 
recording secretary he was made a life member; J. Wingate 
Thornton, another recording secretary and contributor of 
statistical papers. 

In the third decade of Dr. Jarvis' administration, two 
strong men became members who have left a lasting mark 
upon the Association. First came Carroll D. Wright, who 
had taken charge of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a 
little later Francis A. Walker, then professor at Yale Univer- 
sity. Both brought new interests to the Association and 
gave added impetus to the efforts for improving the statis- 
tical service, both local and national. Among the honorary 
members elected at this time, the name of Florence Nightin- 
gale stands out. In acknowledgment she remembered the 
Association with some sanitary reports for India and a pam- 
phlet of her own authorship (Life or Death in India). 

With the presidency of Francis A. Walker began a period 
distinguished, among other things, for the accession to mem- 
bership of many university teachers who as a class had 


hitherto shown little interest in the Association. No d :ubt 
Walker himself proved a powerful magnet to the acade- 
micians, and the need of teaching statistics had begun to be 
recognized. But the great event in President Walker's 
administration was the founding of the so-called new series 
of our publications in 1888. It is strange that our records 
should remain silent about so momentous an undertaking — 
our chief permanent contribution to statistics and the lasting 
memorial of the activities of our Association. The new 
venture demanded the support of a larger membership and 
it was sought; the response was immediate. Soon the Asso- 
ciation had expanded from a local to a national group. In a 
few years (1895) it counted more than five hundred members, 
high-water mark for that time being reached a little later. 
The heavy work in those days fell to Dr. Davis R. Dewey, 
for twelve years recording secretary and editor of the publica- 
tions, to whom the Association owes an unforgettable debt 
of gratitude for eflficient and imgrudging service. As if to 
emphasize the larger life upon which the Association had 
entered, it was decided to have quarterly meetings at 
Washington, and one was held there in 1896. 

Of the general activities of the Association under President 
Walker's eminent and devoted leadership, the printed vol- 
umes aflford testimony I need not supplement. Upon his 
death in 1897, Carroll D. Wright, who had served as vice- 
president, recording secretary and librarian, lent the prestige 
of his rare personality and achievements as statistician to 
the oflBce of president. Under him the Association con- 
tinued to flourish for some years. Later some lean times 
set in, a period of temporary retrogression that seems un- 
avoidable in the history of every organization. Membership 
declined and the meetings dwindled to an annual meagerly 
attended affair. Some of us here remember well those days 
of disheartenment. The reaction did not last long; and, 
happily, Colonel Wright lived to see the Association once 
more in the ascendancy and entering upon new and better 
days. In his last address to us (1908), he painted large 


the spreading field of usefulness waiting to be occupied by 
the Association, confident in its strength and loyalty to 
high ideals. 

Let others record the most recent history of the Associa- 
tion. Only this may I venture to say: None of its days 
have been richer in promise than the present. We are 
vigorous in membership and lack not for interest. Never 
has opportunity for intelhgent eflfort been greater. The 
statistical world about us is immense and widening; but not 
altogether well-ordered. There is constructive work to do 
before the statistical service, national as well as local, can 
reach the plane to which it belongs. There are standards to 
be set and to maintain. If there are among us a multitude 
of indiscriminate consumers of statistics, it must be that 
there are too many indiscriminate producers. Is it not a 
part of our mission to apply a remedy against the prevalent 
statistical myopia which prevents a view of a wide horizon, 
and against the no less common statistical astigmatism, the 
victims of which see things, to be sure, but not always in 
their true relations? Perhaps statistics will always remain 
the plaything of some immature minds, and be used by others 
as a convenient spring-board from which to jump at fallacious 
conclusions. But if the past carries any assurance of the 
future, may we not look forward to a time when the profes- 
sion of statistics shall have come fully into its own", and 
when it will be recognized that the instrument at its hands 
has but the supreme purpose of searching for and diffusing 
human knowledge? 



Bt S. N. D. North, LL.D. 

Assistant Secretary and Statistician of the Carnegie Endoivmentfor International Peace 
Seventy fifth Anniversary ot the American Statistical Association, February 13, 1914 

The life of man upon the globe has been divided into 
various periods, which differ according to the point of view 
of the historian. The simplest division establishes three 
epochs: ancient, mediaeval and modern. The intellectual 
advance of mankind has been divided by Auguste Comte 
into three successive stages: the theological, the metaphysical 
and the positive, or scientific. Economists and historians 
make other classifications, the most common being that 
which separates modern history into its several industrial 
stages, the feudal period, the guild period, the period of 
household industry, and the period of factory industry, the 
latter having its beginning with the substitution of steam 
for the labor of the human hand. The socialist now de- 
mands that we close the factory period and enter a new one 
which, whatever the name assigned to it by future econo- 
mists, shall be a non-competitive age. 

Another division of the centuries since the Middle Ages 
is possible, and more satisfactory for the purposes of this 
paper. Let us divide them into two periods, the non-statis- 
tical and the statistical; one the period of superstition, the 
other the period of ascertained facts expressed in numerical 
terms. The terms are essentially synonymous with those 
which divide modern history into the non-scientific or theo- 
logical period, and the positive or scientific period. 

The science of statistics is the chief instrumentality through 
which the progress of civilization is now measured, and by 
which its development hereafter will be largely controlled. 


Until this science was evolved, history was little more 
than tradition transcribed; myths reduced to records; narra- 
tives of battles and sieges, of the rise and fall of dynasties, 
of the achievements of warriors, emperors, king makers; of 
the machinations of priests and ecclesiastical potentates; of 
the selfishness and brutality of mankind. 

Archaeologists dig up the ruined cities of the past, unearth 
vast catacombs, rebuild great temples, decipher hiero- 
glyphics, and so reconstruct for us the social, political and in- 
dustrial fabrics of ages dead and gone. Other investigators, 
interested in a later period, overhaul musty church records, 
and translate ancient mimicipal archives, in an eager and 
profitable search after systematic knowledge of the customs 
and conditions of life during long centuries when ignorance 
and superstition were the dominating characteristics of 
the peoples then called civilized, in contrast with nomadic 
barbarians. Gradually, painfully, uncertainly, modern 
methods of investigation are reconstructing the history of 
the world, and restoring to it the human element, which the 
ancient chroniclers left out; they are establishing the reign of 
law in the social actions of men, by knowledge of which we 
can look behind and beyond the accidental and temporary, 
and comprehend the grand forces by which human affairs 
are governed. 

The black letter learning of the law no longer suffices, and 
the whole science and theory of government are changing. 
The age of invertebrates passed successively into that of 
fishes, reptiles, mammals and man. Similarly, society 
emerged from one stage into another, barbaric, communistic 
and competitive by turns. It is constantly in a state of flux; 
it is never stationary anywhere, although never equally 
mobile at all points. It is ever taking on new aspects, ever 
overcoming old points of resistance and pushing in new direc- 
tions, obedient to some irresistible law — ^but a law we have 
not yet been able to comprehend or define, except in most 
general terms. 

The irregularities and eccentricities of human evolution 


puzzle US, and often confound our theories. We find all 
stages of civilization simultaneously existing in the four 
quarters of the globe. "Darkest Africa" swarms about 
geographical centers where ancient civilization reached its 
climax 3,000 years ago; the vast empire of Russia is con- 
vulsed by problems which western Europe long since settled; 
China, with nearly one sixth of the total population of the 
globe, is just shaking oflf the torpidity of unnumbered and 
unprogressive centuries. The riddle of the ages is the rela- 
tive backwardness of civilization in geographical sections 
contiguous to the points of its greatest progress. When 
every allowance has been made for the superiority of certain 
races and ethnic types under exceptional conditions, and 
for the submersion of others under the incursions of nomadic 
barbarians, the riddle remains unsolved. The encouraging 
fact is, that what we may call the humanizing movement is 
everywhere in evidence today, however widely different the 
conditions. Never since life began on this globe, was the 
development of the whole human race so interesting, so 
important, so absorbing. 

Moreover, we have learned at last that in the shifting tides 
of human change, we confront the supremest problems of 
our race. Here are the mingled influences of past ages, the 
effect of the rise and fall of empires; here are actually in prog- 
ress the growth and the decay of living nations. 

As of old Saint John beheld from the Isle of Patmos the 
splendors of the Revelation, partly understood and partly 
beyond human knowledge, so in our time the progress of 
the age has brought us to a vision wider than ever before — 
a vision of the vast field of human endeavor. 

How shall we interpret these signs and wonders? It is 
to the modem science of statistics we must turn. Here is a 
new factor in human affairs, at once illuminating, helpful 
and inspiring, which shall show us the meaning of some at 
least of the momentous racial and national changes now in 

Within a short period of time, this new science of statistics 


has been so effectively organized as to afford a surer horo- 
scope of the future than any agency that has heretofore 
existed. It does not enable us to read the future by the past 
— ^that is an omniscient power which will never come to 
finite man. It does enable us to determine, with scientific 
precision, the directions in which certain sociological, eco- 
nomic and industrial currents are moving in this twentieth 
century; the rapidity of the movement; and the influence 
of one ciu-rent upon another. It has established the fact 
that in spite of all individual variations, the average or typi- 
cal conduct of men operates with a high degree of regularity. 
The modern science of statistics is based upon this ascer- 
tained law. No other scientific discovery is more important. 

The natural sciences deal with matters not of man's mak- 
ing, and over which he can exercise few modifying influences. 
But in the broad field of statistics we deal with a mixed class 
of facts, brought about only in part by nature herself, and 
largely determined by change of custom, fixed habit, freak 
of fortune, local environment, constitutional reform, and 
numerous conditions which it is within the power of man 
to modify and control. 

It is not possible to exaggerate the gains which have come 
to mankind by the marvelous achievements of the ma,sters 
of the physical sciences. They have given us the use of 
steam and electricity, and have penetrated the mysterious 
possibilities of chemistry. Thus they have revolutionized 
industry and changed the economic bases of civihzation. 
They have recast the relations of man to man, of nations to 
nations; they have compelled the rewriting of the science of 
pohtical economy, created new laws of supply and demand, 
new relations of production and consumption; new methods 
of barter and exchange; they have changed every aspect of 
human existence; and they have enormously increased both 
the complexities and the privileges of human life. 

But all the sciences are dependent in ever-increasing degree 
upon the science of statistics. All of them now recognize 
it as the key — the "open sesame" — to further progress. As 


Goethe said: "Statistics govern the world." In the last 
analysis, this science is the chief instrumentality upon which 
the world now depends, in its efforts to advance the move- 
ment which is at ferment in every civilized land — ^which had 
its origin in the rapid spread of democratic institutions; in 
the education and elevation of the proletariat; in the asser- 
tion of human rights, as against the rights of caste, of priv- 
ilege, and of wealth. 


It is from this point of view that ^e approach a review of 
the progress of statistics in the tJflited States, during the 
seventy five years since the Americah Statistical Association 
was founded here in the city of Boston, in 1839. 

At that time there was but one organization in existence, 
so far as I am aware, with similar objects in view. This was 
the London Statistical Society, now the Royal Statistical 
Society, founded four years earlier. Its journal — ever since 
maintaining its undisputed rank as the most valuable of 
statistical serial publications — was then but one year old.* 

Passing over the British Annual Register — ^most venerable 
of all serial publications, now in its 155th year (founded 
1758), and the Almanack de Gotha, now in its 151st year, and 
useful to the diminishing proportion of people with pedigrees, 
if not to statisticians — we note that the Statesman's Year 
Book, indispensable compendium of international statistics, 
is only fifty years old. The Statistical Abstract of Great 
Britain has only been compiled for fifty nine years; and it 
was the first in the field of all the similar annuals now pub- 
lished by thirty odd nations. Our own Statistical Abstract, 
the conception of a farseeing but modest statistician, Ed- 
ward Young, was first started in 1878, and has gradually 
developed to its present highly useful function. Whitaher's 
Almanac is only forty six years old, and HazelVs only twenty 
seven. The New York Tribune Almanac, pioneer in the 

* The writer has since learned that the Manchester Statistical Society was or- 
ganized in 1833 and has had a continuous existence. 


American field of political statistics, made its first appearance 
in 1838. Other and younger almanacs, vastly extended in 
scope, are now the best-thumbed volumes in countless public 
and private libraries. 

I record these facts and dates, because they demonstrate 
the progress that has marked these seventy five years, in the 
means for the popularization of the statistical method of 
judging the progress of the world; and their success reveals 
the craving the pubhc has and can gratify, for knowledge of 

So great had been this progress, that in 1885, when the 
London Society reached its fiftieth anniversary, it celebrated 
the event by a jubilee meeting, at which were present expert 
delegates from ten foreign countries, with Francis A. Walker 
representing the United States, as president of this Society. 

In the same year the Paris Statistical Society celebrated 
its twenty fifth anniversary; and there were then in that 
city, in Berlin, in Vienna, in Budapest and in most of the 
European capitals, men then or since world-known for their 
contributions to statistical science. Most of the govern- 
ment statistical oflSces or commissions of Europe have been 
organized since our Association was founded; and the move- 
ment for the standardization of comparative international 
statistics has been set on foot. 

Someone has described statistics as "the anatomy of the 
nation," meaning that they indicate and describe the bones 
around and upon which, flesh, blood, muscles, nerves, vital 
organs — ^aU that constitute the system — are brought together 
in the national entity. All great subjects of modern legisla- 
tion depend, for their intelligent handling, upon the accuracy 
and completeness with which the facts have been statistically 
developed. Our civilization has grown so complex, so sensi- 
tive in its manifestations and reactions, that it woujd cease 
to operate effectively, if it were deprived of accurate, sys- 
tematic, statistical information of the ebb and flow of 
commerce, of money, of expenditure, of indebtedness, of 


crops, of markets, of production and consumption in all 
lines of industry. 

Hence it happens that every group of facts bearing upon 
the daily life of a great nation is now statistically summarized 
and daily utilized in business and in law making. 

We in the United States need all the aid we can get from 
statistics, need it more than any other people; for more than 
any other, we are living in the period of change. Transforma- 
tion in many of our methods is in progress. Industry passes, 
by consolidation into great corporations, from the competi- 
tive into the monopolistic form. The people are engaged in 
a fierce struggle to regain from the politician the control and 
management of the government, national, state and local. 
And they are so far succeeding that subtle modifications of 
the fundamentals of our institutions are in progress. In the 
new edition of his American Commonwealth, Mr. Bryce 
states that he found diflSculty in revising the work, because 
so many of our political institutions are at present in so 
transitory or experimental a state.* 

The days of the laissez faire have gone forever. There is 
no longer any field of human activity into which it is not 
now accepted as both the right and the duty of the state to 
intervene, by investigation and by remedial action. This 
reversal of the long prevalent theory of the governmental 
function has enormously widened the field of statistics; has 
increased their use, and has made it necessary that the edu- 
cated citizen, whatever his walk in life, shall be somewhat 
trained in their uses and abuses, their methods and limita- 

Within this period, statistics have become the foundation 
of modern government, both in the administrative and the 
legislative branches. There is no phase of the relations of 
government to people which legislation does not now enter; 
no problem with which it does not seek to deal; no innova- 
tion from which it shrinks; no condition for which it has not 
a panacea. It is only by the statistical search-light that we 

* Preface, p. X. 


can determine the effects and defects of all this mass of new 
legislation, covering so many strange and untried fields. 

Thus the life of the Association covers the development of 
statistics into an exact science, its application to all fields of 
human activity, its utilization as the standard for the meas- 
urement of human progress, and its acceptance as the test 
of the trend and the tendencies of that progress. 


While there has been marked progress in the development 
of the oflScial and private statistical work of all civilized 
countries, we may claim, and perhaps demonstrate, that it 
has been greater in the United States in these seventy five 
years, than in any other nation. 

There are many reasons why this should have been so. 
The progress of the nation itself has been greater than that 
of any other. The growth of interest in statistics, and in 
the results they establish, has kept pace with the develop- 
ment of the country itself. Twenty five years ago Gen. 
Francis A. Walker declared that "the American people are 
intensely and passionately devoted to statistics." This pop- 
ular interest has grown greatly since. Increasing interest is 
due to increasing dependence; to the growing recognition of 
the fact that in government, in business and in the aflFairs of 
hfe, statistics alone can discharge the function of the steam 
gauge in the engine. This recognition is largely traceable 
to the exceptional skill and ingenuity with which American 
statisticians have presented the results of their investiga- 

We compile a greater volume of statistical material, and 
cover a greater variety of topics, than any other country. 
Indeed, there is practically no field of inquiry into which our 
ambitious statisticians dare not enter — often with results 
which will not stand the test of analysis. 

We have, first, the steadily increasing statistical product 
of the national government, covering wider and more diver- 
sified fields each year. We have, second, the statistical 


product of forty eight separate states — some of it good, some 
of it distinctly bad, much of it of very uncertain value, but 
all of it showing a tendency towards improvement. We have, 
third, the product due to private initiative, yearly growing 
more exact in methods, more informing in results. We spend 
more money than any other nation in compiling statistics, 
and beyond question we waste much of the expenditure. 

To this country, however, belongs the unique distinction of 
having inaugurated the decennial census of national popula- 
tion and resources. Indeed, this most signal service of the 
nation to the science of statistics long preceded the founding 
of this Association. And so it happens that the United 
States alone among nations possesses a complete comparative 
record of population, from the date when the independent 
nation was born. There is no country on the globe, the 
growth and diflfusion of whose population, and all its inci- 
dence from the beginning, has been or ever can be depicted 
with the photographic detail and the scientific philosophy, 
of William S. Rossiter's Century of Population Growth, pub- 
lished by the Permanent Census OflSce in 1909. This volume 
demonstrates better than any publication I know of, one 
contention of this paper, that statistics are the surest founda- 
tion for history. 

It may also be said that the Negro Bulletin, prepared by 
Prof. Walter F. Willcox — another of the Permanent Census 
Office studies^s an ethnological and sociological adventure 
in the field of intensive statistical work, which finds no equal 
in other countries. I make this statement with knowledge 
of the extraordinary success of Great Britain in photograph- 
ing the status of the varied tribes and clans of her trouble- 
some empire of India. The negro problem is one of our many 
exigent problems; this bulletin illumines it. 

The census of the populatibn was ordained by the Con- 
stitution, to be taken in 1790, and every tenth year there- 
after, so long as the nation shall endure. No other reason 
than the necessity for a basis for Congressional reapportion- 
ment was assigned for the census. But it quickly dawned 


upon the f arsighted statesmen of that era that this was but 
one of many useful purposes this decennial stock-taking 
might be made to serve. With successive decades, new lines 
of enumeration were added — agriculture in 1820, manu- 
factures in 1840, other inquiries at following decades, until 
the census became the periodical inventory of the national 
resources, and the barometer of national development in 
every phase and branch, in human beings first, for the 
quality and character of its citizenship must always remain 
the most important national asset; after that in the measure- 
ment and the differentiation of progress in every field where 
human energy contributes to the building of the nation. 
Thus the American census has become as essential, for 
definite knowledge of our national assets and liabilities, as 
the periodical book-balancing of a business corporation in 
determining its solvency. 

As showing the relationship of the census to the whole 
problem of modern government, the United States no sooner 
obtained a temporary responsibility in Cuba, than it ordered 
an enumeration of the people; and the first steps taken to 
reestablish civil government in the colonial possessions ac- 
quired by the war with Spain were the censuses of Porto 
Rico and the Philippine Islands. 

To this day we remain the only nation in the world which 
has grasped the possibilities and the advantages of enumera- 
tion by the census method. Germany has followed our 
example in adding agricultural statistics to the population 
count, and, within a limited scope, industrial statistics as 
well. So have Belgium and Holland, and France to some 
extent. Other nations have similar enlargement of census 
work under consideration. But it remains the fact that the 
United States was the first to discover the possibilities of 
the census; and that it has carried it farther, in more diver- 
sified fields of inquiry, and in elaboration of detail, than any 
other coiuitry. 

This development has come since the founding of this 
Association, and may be largely attributed to its inspiration. 


It had its real impetus in the Tenth Census, that of 1880, 
when Francis A. Walker, after a training as superintendent 
of the Ninth, conceived the idea of making the Centennial 
Census a national inventory, such as had never before been 
dreamed of. That census remains unique, here and every- 
where; and it stamps Francis A. Walker, the fourth Presi- 
dent of this Association,* twelve times reelected, as the king 
among census takers, and the greatest all-round master of 
the science of statistics. 

In 1890 came another innovation in census work which, in 
its immediate results and its ultimate possibilities, may be 
described as epoch-making in statistics — the introduction of 
automatic tabulation. All honor is due to Robert P. Porter, 
director of the Eleventh Census, who had the courage and 
the foresight to try this hazardous experiment, with full 
realization of its possibilities. f 

I cannot detain the reader with a statement of the cor- 
relation of the data of individual elements of the popula- 
tion, in combination with other data, beyond the reach of 
hand tabulation, which this invention opened up. The 
sociological value of the minuter statistical presentation of 
demographic data thus brought within reach, is not yet fully 
understood and only partially realized. Without it we could 
never hope to lay bare all the truth we must have, if we are 
to cope successfully with the problems growing out of the 

* In the first seventy one years of its existence, the American Statistical Associa- 
tion had but five presidents, each of whom served until his death. Hon. Richard 
Fletcher, the first, served six years; Dr. George C. Shattuck, the second, five years; 
Dr. Edward Jarvis, the third, thirty years; Gen. Francis A. Walker, the fourth, 
thirteen years; and Col. Carroll D. Wright, the fifth president, twelve years. The 
presidents since 1909 have been S. N. D. North, Frederick L. Hoffman, Walter F. 
Willcox, and John Koren. 

t The automatic tabulating machinery was introduced and successfully operated 
in the 1911 census of Great Britain and the Dominion of Canada. Austria and 
Russia have long made use of it. Dr. Herman Hollerith of Washington conceived 
and invented this ingenious mechanism, which has since been successfully applied 
in many branches of business accounting. The Thirteenth Census was tabulated 
by use of an independent system of punching and recording machines, owned by the 
government and developed during my administration as Director. 


heterogeneous commingling of races which our defective 
immigration laws are forcing upon us. 

No other country has yet realized the possibilities of this 
advance in census methods; this is perhaps because no other 
country has quite the same need for these data. But until 
other nations obtain and publish such, the population sta- 
tistics of the United States must be regarded as the most 
complete and eflfective in the world. 

It remained for the Twelfth Census, that of 1900, to reach 
the high-water mark in two other fields which the census 
method alone can adequately handle — the fields of agricul- 
ture and manufacture. These are the right and left legs 
upon which our people stand and walk; upon their growth 
and prosperity depends our future. The Census of Agricul- 
ture was so handled as to be accepted as an adequate por- 
trayal of our agricultural status and resources. It was 
recognized as so vital a horoscope upon our ability to feed 
our coming miUions, that Congress ordained that it shall 
hereafter be taken every five years. Supremacy in agricul- 
tural statistics is conceded to the greatest of agricultural 

The United States was the first nation to undertake the 
census statistics of manufactures; and in 1900 the report 
reached a completeness of detail and a technical perfection 
of method that- left little to be desired. No other country 
has ever approached it; and it was only in 1908 that England 
began to imitate it. 

I dwell upon these facts, because they are tangible evidence 
of the actual contribution of the United States to statistics 
during the period under review, and justify the claim that 
nothing quite so distinctive has been contributed elsewhere. 
They demonstrate our courage in venturing into untried 
fields of investigation, and our ability to cope with statistical 
difficulties hitherto deemed insuperable. 

The most important single step for the advancement of 
statistical science in the United States, after the decennial 
census, was the establishment of the Permanent Census 


Office, on March 6, 1902. It was the goal towards which 
American statisticians had aimed for a quarter of a century. 
The chief credit for its final achievement must in justice be 
assigned to William R. Merriam, the Director of the Twelfth 
Census, who concentrated energy, executive ability, and per- 
sonal and official popularity upon the procurement of this 
crowning achievement as Director. 

Prior to that time, the census office was disbanded at the 
end of each decennial period; its trained men turned loose; 
its valuable records scattered and lost; its traditions oblit- 
erated; and continuity of method and experience destroyed. 
It was necessary to grope in the dark at each recurring census, 
testing out methods already tried and discarded, repeating 
errors and mistakes already demonstrated. It was an in- 
tolerable situation, from the point of view of scientific work 
and progressive development. As the country grows, it 
would soon have become an impossible one. The gigantic 
task of a decennial enumeration would have broken down 
at the beginning. 

The work of the Permanent Census Office during the first 
intercensal period completely justified its establishment. It 
successfully inaugurated the system of voluntary coopera- 
tion with state, county and city offices and private organiza- 
tions, which is vital to the coordination of statistics in the 
United States. Whether or not its estabhshment was fur- 
ther vindicated by the results of the Thirteenth Census, is 
now challenged. 

It is too early, however, to attempt final judgment. The 
Permanent Office was perfectly organized for the task, and 
no census was ever before taken in this country under more 
favorable conditions. Starting with such an advantage, it 
cost an excessive sum, and was not completed within the 
time limit fixed by the law. Its scheme for separately com- 
bining the main details of census inquiry in a single com- 
pact volume for each state, was an admirable innovation. 
Whether the changes in schedule phraseology, and the radical 
recastings of tabular presentation, were wise, is at least 


doubtful; for one of the chief values of a periodical census is 
the principle of perfect comparability from census to census. 
The improvement of each census over its predecessor is 
possible and desirable; but changes which invalidate exact 
comparison, in the measurement of growth and of variation, 
may strip a census of its chief value, from the scientific point 
of view. The accuracy of some of the Thirteenth Census 
figures has been sharply questioned. It may be that another 
census must be taken, before these controversies can be 
definitely determined. Independently of all this, the advo- 
cates of a permanent bureau, among whom I have been 
actively enrolled since 1880, are in no respect dismayed, nor 
is our faith in the inestimable value of the Permanent Census 
Office in the least degree shaken, provided only and always, 
that the office is officered by men thoroughly trained and 
equipped for this gigantic task. 

Other government bureaus have continually enlarged and 
improved their statistical product. The statistics of rail- 
road transportation, skillfully organized by Prof. Henry 
C. Adams for the Interstate Commerce Commission, are 
nowhere surpassed in their wealth of searching and inform- 
ing detail. 

The condition and transactions of our banking institutions 
are presented by the Comptroller of the Currency in illumi- 
nating tables, which some nations may equal, but none 

The statistics of world production of the precious metals, 
compiled by Director George E. Roberts for the Bureau 
of the Mint, have long been accepted as standard by 
great nations whose financial systems are far superior to 
our own. 

The Internal Revenue Bureau tells us, each year, the exact 
production of wines, beers and spirituous liquors; and meas- 
uring consumption by that standard, we are amazed to dis- 
cover that notwithstanding the rapid spread of prohibitory 


laws in the Southern States, the American people drink more 
alcohol than ever before. 

The Immigration Bureau has learned, very recently, how 
to compile the statistics of the mass of foreign-born humanity 
pouring into our midst. We now understand how com- 
pletely the character of this immigration has changed in 
recent years, and are beginning to realize the dangers and 
difficulties it involves. 

The Year Book of Agriculture, published by the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, circulates a milhon copies annually 
among our farmers, and contains the most complete statis- 
tics of the production and international exchange of farm 
products, of which I am aware. 

The tables of our foreign commerce, exports and imports, 
are given with a detail nowhere more complete, in the 
monthly summaries of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic 

Until recently, the United States was strikingly behind the 
chief European nations in the study of municipal statistics, 
the importance of which, in view of the abnormal growth of 
our urban population, we are now beginning to reahze. It 
was the existence of the Permanent Census Office which 
made it possible to develop the splendid series of Annual 
Municipal Statistics, which Dr. LeGrand Powers, with rare 
statistical skill |and a fine devotion, has placed on a par 
with any compiled iin Europe. 

The art of presenting statistics in graphic form was in- 
vented by European statisticians, and brought to a high 
degree of perfection by Levasseur, Marshall, Latanne, 
Soetbeer, Rawson, and others. Statistical Atlases, or 
albums, were compiled in several countries before our first 
publication of this character at the Census of 1870. But it 
is an American statistician. Dr. Henry Gannett, who has 
made the widest and most eflFective application of the graphic 
form to census figures. By his ingenuity in visualizing re- 
sults in many combinations, and the use of the largest vari- 
ety of symbols, he has brought statistics within the ready 


understanding of the people, and enormously increased 
their usefulness. The Statistical Atlases of the Eleventh 
and Twelfth Censuses were magnificent contributions of 
the graphic method to statistical science. 

It is cause of profound regret that the Statistical Atlas 
was omitted from the publications of the Thirteenth Census. 
Of the long series of census volumes, the Atlas is perhaps 
the most widely useful for educational purposes. The re- 
production of its graphic representations of growth, by lan- 
tern slides, in university lecture courses and in popular 
addresses, has done more to popularize and make compre- 
hensible census results, than any other method. I hope 
that this mistake will never again be made.* 

As universally useful and acceptable was the octavo 
volume, Abstract of the Census, originated in 1840, which 
compressed into the minimum of space, without text dis- 
cussion, those bare general results of the decennial censuses 
which are in daily demand in countless business oflSces, and 
literary and scientific laboratories, in the form most conven- 
ient for quick and ready reference. 

Vital statistics are the foundation upon which rests the 
modern, humanitarian, scientific movement for the develop- 
ment and application of the laws of public health and sani- 
tation. Only by the perfection of our records of births and 
deaths, can the devoted men and women whose lives are 
consecrated to this great movement, guide and systematize 
their work. 

The world acknowledges with undying gratitude the !», - 
spired genius with which Dr. William Farr, of England, 
organized this work of registration, beginning in 1837, two 
years before the organization of this Association. Under 
his hands, the great problems to which vital statistics are 

* The history, the uses, the methods, and the limitations of the graphic method in 
statistics, are admirably presented in the paper of the late Emile Levasseur, member 
of the Latemational Statistical Institute, in the proceedings of the Jubilee meeting 
of the London Statistical Society, 1885. Other papers on the same subject by 
Alfred Marshall and Francis Galton appear in the volume. 


the key and clew, were converted into scientific truths, and 
the general principles established which determine the rela- 
tionship of density of population and hygienic conditions, 
to disease and death. Dr. Farr was the pioneer in the pro- 
tection of the people against a thousand insidious sources of 
infection. He first showed, by the statistical method, the 
relation of cause and effect. He organized the British 
"Annual Reports of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths 
and Marriages," — a splendid and unrivalled series of demo- 
graphic statistics, to which may be traced the beginning of 
scientific sanitation. 

The United States ofiFers opportunity for the development 
of a series of reports on vital statistics of universal useful- 
ness. We present the most unique ethnological problem 
anywhere in existence. Our population is an admixture, 
and to some extent an amalgamation, of races and nation- 
alities elsewhere unknown. It subsists under every variety 
of climate and topography; it is sustained, in one section or 
another, by every gift of nature. The occupations of our 
people are practically all-inclusive, presenting unequalled 
advantages for the study of occupation in its relations to 
morbidity and mortahty. 

In the face of these facts, it is humiliating to know that 
in vital statistics the United States stands at the foot of the 
nations of like rank in civilization. But it is encouraging to 
be able to add that we are making progress, and timely to 
point out ways in which this progress can be accelerated. 

The science of demography, as we understand that word — 
of comparatively recent use in connection with statistical 
science — includes all statistics which record and measure the 
acts, the movements and the lives of mankind. It is im- 
possible to draw a hard and fast line, at which statistics can 
be said to cease to be demographic in their character. 
Common usage regards demography as a branch of ethnol- 
ogy, anthropology being the other branch. It treats of 
the statistics of health and disease, of the physical, intel- 
lectual, physiological and economic aspects of births, deaths, 


marriages and divorces; of the insane, criminal, defective 
and dependent classes, of emigration and immigration; of 
mankind, in every aspect of his development which a census 
of population can reveal. All of these statistics are essential 
to the proper study of public hygiene and the general social 
uplift — two things indissolubly bound together. 

The associated efforts of mankind to promote sanitary 
reform, to improve housing conditions, to protect food sup- 
plies, to improve the conditions under which human beings 
herd together, have for their object the prolongation of 
human life, the lessening of human suffering, and the in- 
crease of human happiness. Hygiene is the most potent of 
the instrumentalities through which the sociologist can 
accomplish practical results. Both the hygienist and the 
sociologist must build their efforts upon the work of the 
demographist, if they would build effectively, and without 
misdirected effort. 

The diflficulties which surround the development of our 
vital statistics long appeared insuperable. With no federal 
control over state and municipal mortality records; with 
forty eight separate and independent commonwealths in 
charge of the public health; with no standardization of 
methods between them, and with total indifference on the 
part of the officials in most of them, it seemed, thirty years 
ago, a hopeless task even to attempt a reform. 

It is only one of many anomalies and inconsistencies which 
grow out of our dual form of government; anomalies which 
make a marriage which is legal in one state illegal in another; 
which make a misdemeanor in one a crime in another; which 
bring chaos into our jurisprudence, and produce endless un- 
certainty in our business of an inter-state character. 

In some of the older states, Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island for example, the mortality records have been admir- 
ably kept for many years. High praise must be awarded 
men like the late Dr. Samuel W. Abbott of the former, and 
Dr. Charles V. Chapin, superintendent of health in Provi- 
dence, for devoted and scientific service rendered the cause 


of vital statistics. There are today in several states, regis- 
trars and health officers who should be named in the same 
class. But in too many instances it is still a record of official 

We owe it to the late Dr. John S. Billings that a way was 
discovered to overcome these difficulties. We owe it to the 
late William A. "King that this road was pursued to prac- 
tical results. We owe it to the tireless enthusiasm of Dr. 
Cressy L. Wilbur, that at length we see daylight shining at 
the end of the long, dark tunnel of confusion, contradiction 
and imcertainty, through which we have been wandering 
all these years. But to this day we are lacking in statistics 
of births, except perhaps in three states, which are of the 
least value. 

When the registration area, comprising states and cities in 
which the record of deaths was fairly complete, was first 
estabhshed by Doctor Billings in 1880, it consisted of but 
two states (Massachusetts and New Jersey), and a few 
outside cities, with an aggregate population of 8,538,366, — 
about 17 per cent, of the total population. Today it includes 
twenty four states, and forty two cities in other states, a 
population of 63,350,000, or 65.2 per. cent, of the popula- 
tion of the United States. 

It is difficult to appreciate the signfficance of these figures, 
to magnify their importance, or to give due credit for the de- 
votion and the scientific skill which have inspired the little 
band who are determined that their country shall not fail, as 
time passes, to make its proper contribution to international 
demography; who understand that no other country can 
make a contribution of equal importance, under conditions 
so unique, and that no other country stands in quite such 
exigent need for just this knowledge, at just this time. 

Vital statistics have made greater progress, in the last ten 
years, than in all the preceding years of our history. The 
annual reports have become, for the first time, scientific 
statistics, comparable, so far as they go, with each other, and 
with those of other countries. So much progress was made. 


and the outlook for the future was so promising, that I felt 
justified, when the Thirteenth Census legislation was pend- 
ing, in making the recommendation that the mortality 
schedule be omitted from that census, for the first time since 
its introduction in 1850. That recommendation was ac- 
cepted, without protest or objection from any quarter; so 
that now, as Wilbur puts it, "we have thrown away our 
crutches, and if we cannot walk, we must fall." But the 
child never learns to walk until he tries, and tries many 

To complete the service which the government of the 
United States still owes to itself, to the people of the whole 
country, and to the health authorities of the states and the 
municipalities, one other great step forward is necessary, as 
the proper supplement to the establishment of the Per- 
manent Census Office. That step is a quinquennial or five- 
year census of population. The five-year Census of Man- 
ufactures was ordained when the Permanent Census Office 
was created. The five-year Census of Agriculture was 
established by the act for the Thirteenth Census. Both 
are admirable and necessary; but the need for neither is 
quite so great as for a more frequent count of our growing, 
shifting, composite people. The knowledge of the progress 
and condition of the people is certainly not less important 
than the measurement of industrial growth. The five-year 
population census, such as is now taken by France and 
Germany, is one of the great forward steps in the movement 
for social progress. To secure this advance, the American 
Statistical Association should take a leading part. 

Closely connected with vital statistics, is the statistical 
study of the defective, delinquent and criminal classes, in 
which field our president stands facile princeps. This is an- 
other development since this Association was founded; the 
first attempt of the federal government to gather the statis- 
tics of these classes in institutions was in 1870. Much 
progress has been made; much remains to be made. It is a 
study as essential as that of vital statistics to the well being 


of the human race. We have recently come to realize its 
importance, in the awakening of scientists to the fact that 
there is a science called eugenics, and the relationship which 
this science bears to human progress and sociological ad- 
vance. The need for restraining the genetically deficient 
classes and families from the function of reproduction, is 
recognized as imperative; the methods whereby this can be 
done are but dimly outlined; the problem on its face seems 
insoluble. But able men are not afraid to face it. If we 
can breed plants and animals, increasing beauty, develop- 
ing useful qualities and eliminating defects, why not men and 
women as well? The work of the Eugenics Record oflBice at 
Cold Spring Harbor, on Long Island, organized by Dr. C. 
B. Davenport for research in human heredity and its 
application to human affairs, is making gratifying progress, 
and finds the statistical method its most effective instru- 

The statistical work of our government, carried on in 
these numerous bureaus, compares favorably, in all branches, 
with that of other countries; but it still lacks, very conspic- 
uously, the coordination, the scientific homogeneity we may 
call it, so admirably attained in Germany since the estab- 
lishment of the Imperial Statistical OflSce in 1872, and in 
Great Britain, since the control of all official governmental 
statistics was concentrated in the Board of Trade. Some 
day, a wise president will realize how greatly the value and 
vaUdity of our official statistical work are impaired by this 
lack of concentration under the direction of a cabinet officer, 
who is the best trained expert the country can produce. 
Then we shall be in a way to do our full duty to the science 
which has become the basis of enhghtened government. 
It is an ideal towards which American statisticians should 
persistently aim, and for the attainment of which this 
Association may well take the initiative. 



Turning to private statistical work, the record of progress 
and development is equally encouraging. Our privately 
gathered statistics have come to bear a relation to govern- 
ment as important as any compiled by the government itself. 

One of the first practical applications of the statistical 
method was to commerce. When Lord Timothy Dexter 
made his famous shipment of warming pans to the West 
Indies, he furnished a ludicrous ^lustration of the plight of 
the man who ships articles to markets which have no con- 
ceivable use for them. Originally commerce was somewhat 
like the trip of a tramp steamer in semi-civilized waters, 
sailing from port to port, picking up what it happens to find, 
and selUng what it happens to have. 

Commercial statistics have revolutionized this primitive 
commerce. They are compiled with such fullness and accu- 
racy that the statistical situation of every great staple is 
known when the day's business begins, throughout the 
world. New York and New Orleans know every morning 
just how many bales of cotton have come in sight, the world 
over, on the previous day; and a single quotation is the basis 
of every man's transactions in the bourses and exchanges of 
every coimtry on every continent. The whole of the world's 
commerce in great staples, representing thirty billions of 
exchanges annually, is now adjusted with precision, and 
regulated to a nicety, by the statistical barometer that 
controls and determines it. A glut here, and a famine 
there, formerly chronic conditions, now follow only when 
nature fails or surprises, and rarely even then. 

The estabUshment of the International Institute of Agri- 
culture, at Rome, which has successfully worked out a plan 
for securing the yearly product of the great agricultural 
staples in all the great producing countries, was the inspira- 
tion of that American genius, David Lubin. 

The whole science of modem insurance is founded upon 
statistics. An accumulation of data recording actual experi- 
ence in a mass of selected cases, enables the insurance actuary 


to calculate with a certainty that approaches the miraculous, 
the average longevity of the insured, and to determine within 
a fraction of a fraction, the average relation of each individual 
premium to the total outgo of his company. 

Mr. Hoffman's admirable study, Fifty Years of American 
Life Insurance* shows that the number of policies in ordinary 
life insurance has increased from 56,046 in 1860 to 6,954,119 
in 1910, and the amount of insurance from $163,703,455 to 
$13,227,213,168. Industrial insurance has grown from $145,- 
938,241 in 1885 to $3,177,047,874 in 1910. These figures 
are impressive as an indication of the extraordinary pros- 
perity of our country, and quite as significant as evidence 
of the scientific exactness with which this growth can be 
measured. Actuarial statistics constitute a special science 
by themselves, which hardly existed seventy five years ago, 
and is today the cornerstone of this beneficent business, 
which "tends persistently to raise the level of social well 
being of every element of the population." 

The annual reports of our leading Chambers of Commerce, 
Boards of Trade, and organizations representing great indus- 
tries, have become as trustworthy as those which bear the 
hallmark of the government. The New York Chamber of 
Commerce, for a period of nearly eighty years, has statis- 
tically photographed the annual development of the metrop- 
olis in every great line of commercial activity. So also of 
the similar reports of Boston, Chicago, and other cities. 
The annual reports of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange 
are accepted throughout the world as a complete exposition 
of the production, movement and consumption of the great 
textile staple. Those of the American Iron and Steel Asso- 
ciation record the production and the prices of the basic 
forms of that metal with minute detail. The Spectator 
Company of New York supplies periodical statistics regard- 
ing the income, losses, and dividends of the Fire, Marine and 
Casualty Companies. The Street Railway Journal compiles 

* Quarterly Publications of the American Statistical Association, September, 1911, 
New Series, No. 95. 


the mileage, car equipment and capitalization of these 
transportation companies. Poor's Railway Manual has 
occupied for many years an enviable position as the reposi- 
tory of all the available statistical information regarding 
the steam roads. In recent years Moody's Manual has 
reached a similar eminence as the standard authority upon 
the finances and operations of industrial corporations. 

Trade joiu-nals exist for all the great industries, in all the 
manufactm-ing countries, which cover, with marvelous com- 
pleteness, the statistical status of the industry with which 
their readers are concerned. Daily newspapers flourish, 
devoted chiefly to the statistics of commerce and trade, and 
covering the transactions of bourses, exchanges, chambers 
and marts in the uttermost corners of the globe. Thus is 
the history of the world now written in figures, from day to 
day, from year to year, from decade to decade. 

I beg you to notice that in what I have enumerated in 
tedious detail of the applications of statistics in modern 
life, I have only grazed the surface. Statistics create an 
endless procession of moving photographs of the work and 
civilization of today. 

These statistics are compiled because men use them, and 
cannot inteUigently conduct their business without them. 
They are the modern substitute for the rule of thumb. They 
are the basis of the new rule of Publicity, now acknowledged 
to be the best safeguard of both private and public interests. 
They are the basis of the new science of EflSciency, which is 
working a revolution in industrial methods. They are the 
only check that exists for the restraint of speculation, and 
the emancipation of the many from the iron domination of 
the few. They are not always suflficient to accomplish 
that; but they do place in the possession of all, information 
which formerly did not exist, or was confined to the few. 


I have reserved reference to industrial statistics, because 
they are sui generis. They are the touchstone of the new 
social era upon the outskirts of which we are hovering. 

The Bureau of Labor, organized by Carroll D. Wright in 
1884 upon the high plane of absolute impartiality in han- 
dling the complex problems of the relations of capital and 
labor, has learned much from foreign bureaus in the same 
field, organized at later dates, and has taught them much. 

There is no more difficult statistical field, and none more 
important. The Census office, in dealing with manufact- 
ures, has been appalled by the wage problem of the day rate, 
the weekly rate, the piece-price rate, often utilized side by 
side in the same mill — a problem in which every separate 
occupation in every industry may represent a differing wage; 
in which the degree of non-employment varies constantly; in 
which a thousand factors enter to invalidate conclusions as 
to the average number of employes in a given industry, the 
average earning, and the actual relative share of employer 
and employe in the increment of industry. It is the most 
intricate riddle which confronts statistician and economist. 
Colonel Wright once remarked that " we cannot get at it by 
any scientific method." The answer is, that the method 
must be found; for the live wire of today leads into the heart 
of these questions.^ 

Sooner or later we have got to face questions of old age 
pensions, workingmen's insurance — ^fields in which Germany 
has led the way, and Great Britain is entering. We have 
deliberately created industrial conditions which make the 
living wage a burning issue. Whether or not the solution of 
the social problem lies along these lines, we cannot yet be 
sure; for socialized Germany, far as she has advanced along 
this pathway, and heroically as she is footing the tax bills, 
has not yet enabled the world to determine whether the 
road leads to solution or revolution. 

But of one thing we may be sure: the substitution of arbi- 


tration for the old-fashioned strike and lock-out, expedients 
of war and not of civilization, is inevitable. 

An educated public opinion demands, with increasing per- 
sistency, that brute force shall no longer be the test of who is 
right and who is wrong in these perpetually recurring indus- 
trial contests. 

When a gigantic struggle arises between the thousands of 
employes of our great railway systems, and their directorates, 
arbitration becomes the sole protection of the pubKc against 
the paralysis of business which would follow the suspension 
of transcontinental ti-affic; and Congress and the President 
unite to enact over night a modification of the Erdman act 
which makes it adequate to present-day conditions. The 
arbitrators seek to ascertain the truth, as to the points in 
dispute; their appeal is to the statistician. He analyzes the 
books and accounts of the corporations; he determines, from 
the study of income and outgo, whether or not the demand 
of the employe is just, when tested by ability to concede 
its justice; and the arbitrator decides whether the value of 
the service rendered is such as to warrant an advance which 
earnings make possible. 

The anthracite coal arbitration of 1902, taught the nation 
there is an equitable and reasonable solution always possible, 
when a labor war breaks out. The recent settlement of the 
great strikes in the clothing manufacture in New York and 
Boston, on the basis of what has come to be known as the 
Brandeis Protocol, was epoch-making; for that instrument, 
now in successful operation, goes beyond the juridical settle- 
ment of a strike; it supplies the simple machinery by means 
of which, so long as both parties respect it, a strike can never 
occur. The invention and adoption of that Protocol were 
like a burst of simshine through clouds that had been gather- 
ing for generations. 

The world has long been obsessed by the dread of an im- 
pending struggle between labor and capital — ^a titanic conflict 
involving our entire social system and leading perhaps to 
another French revolution. And lo, the solution is at hand; 


for the statistician has appeared, and behind him is an edu- 
cated public opinion, which demands that equity shall be 
the basis of compromise, and trusts the statistician to prove 
mathematically where equity lies. The task is his to solve 
the question, and he must search until he finds the solution. 
We live in an age of figures, and their combinations are the 
golden threads which guide our footsteps through the laby- 
rinthine mazes of the social and economic problems which 
modem civilization creates. 

The labor problem is a world problem. It does not materi- 
ally differ in any western nation. We have advanced as far 
toward its sane solution as any. The New Zealand and 
Australian experiments are more radical; but it is today a 
serious question whether these young countries have not gone 
too far; whether they will not be compelled to retrace their 
steps, perhaps with much turmoil. The rest of the world 
looks to us, and not to them. 


Other problems confront us. One of them is unique in the 
United States. It is the problem of race admixture, growing 
out of the impact upon the native stock of 25,000,000 immi- 
grants, of all bloods and creeds and languages, from all 
European countries and many parts of Asia, steadily increas- 
ing at the rate of a million souls a year. It is a new phe- 
nomenon in world history; no large movement of the races of 
mankind from one region to another has ever occurred under 
conditions at all resembling them. 

Should immigration continue on its present scale, should 
the disparity in the fertility of the foreign and native stocks 
also continue, our population, which at the time this Asso- 
ciation was founded was almost wholly Anglo-American, 
and in 1900 half native and half foreign, may in 1950 be 
three fourths or more of foreign blood. 

This immigration is profoundly affecting our civilization, 
our institutions, our habits and our ideals. It has trans- 
planted here alien tongues, alien religions, and alien theories 


of government; it has been a powerful influence in the rapid 
disappearance of the Puritanic outlook upon life which under- 
laid the Connecticut blue laws, and established what was 
once called the American Sabbath. It has upset time- 
honored precedents and modified our whole social and eco- 
nomic life. It is already leading to a mingling of many bloods 
in a hybrid race, which presents the most important demo- 
graphic and ethnological experiment the world has known. 
Accompanying this irruption of alien races, is a startling de- 
chne in the native birth rate, and a corresponding decrease in 
the size of families. 

No one yet knows how far national character is affected 
by blood admixture. We have no basis for estimating the 
comparative importance of heredity and environment. 
Neither have we any prejudice against miscegenation — bar- 
ring only a profoimd antipathy to the intermarriage of white 
and black, and white and yellow. Therein we differ from 
the Japanese, who boast that their blood has been kept 
absolutely pure for ages. As the generations roll by, as this 
race amalgamation becomes more intensive, we may find 
the American people the finest specimens of the human 
race, physically, mentally and artistically, the world has 
yet developed. But to make this possible, it is high time 
that we made more restrictive the immigration laws which 
now welcome with inconceivable prodigality the undesir- 
ables of every occidental race to the rapidly lessening oppor- 
tunities of our continent. 

Wonderful is the statistical problem thus presented. 
Who shall turn adequately the searchlight of our science 
on the decline of the homogeneous stock that made this 
nation, and the capacity for self-government of its suc- 
cessors? Who shall measure the gravity of the change, 
the sinister meaning of the fact that a race that ran out its 
strength in a century is recruiting itself from nations that 
have had a thousand years of history.? Will the environ- 
ment that is burning out our stock so quickly, effect the 
same result in its successors? Will these composites who 


are assuming the lead prove equal to their task? What of 
their devotion to law? Not in words, but in deeds and 
example? Upon Anglo-Saxon reverence for law has been 
founded and reared this republic. Are there not signs in 
the restlessness of the times of the new temperament of the 

When Emerson wrote, "the eternal public is always right," 
he little dreamed that the public he diagnosed from the 
serene atmosphere of Concord half a century ago, would 
be transformed into the conglomeration of peoples which 
makes our public opinion of today. 

Notwithstanding our declining native birth rate, the swell- 
ing hordes of immigrants with their fertile families are 
keeping up a population increase which embodies a phenom- 
enon without parallel. On the assumption that the yearly 
increase has been equal to one tenth of that shown by the 
decennial census, our population has already doubled four 
times since 1790; and if immigration continues to increase, 
notwithstanding the declining birth rate, it will approximate 
300,000,000 by the year 2000. What is to be the economic 
status of this coming population, approaching in numbers 
that of China? Already certain tendencies are well marked, 
and significant, if not ominous. 


How swiftly the whole economic situation in our country 
has been metamorphosed! Prior to 1840, three quarters of 
the population was engaged in agriculture. In 1910, very 
nearly one half of the people were concentrated in cities and 
towns of 5,000 population and over; and we have 195 cities, 
each with a population of 30,000 or more. Of the seven 
largest cities in the world. New York ranks second, and 
Chicago fourth. These 195 American cities are governed 
under heterogeneous charters of every conceivable variation, 
constantly tinkered or replaced, in a restless search for some- 
thing better, which may be worse. They concentrate within 
comparatively narrpw limits the problems of modern civili- 


zation in their intensest forms. Here governmental control 
of public utilities is most necessary and often the most 
inefficient. Here the immigrants herd ia slums, forming 
great segregated colonies of alien races. Here the tenement 
house and the sweat-shop flourish. Here pauperism is 
chronic in given areas. Here tuberculosis is self-breeding, 
and sanitation at its worst. Here crime and the gin shop 
are partners, sometimes with the police as a silent member 
of the firm. Here the white slave traffic spreads its net, and 
Adce takes on its most hideous forms. Here graft is ever on 
the alert for new forms of illicit profit. Here organized 
charity, public and private, finds its widest and most difficult 

In dealing with this congeries of municipal problems, it is 
imperative that there shall be comparison between condi- 
tions and results in different municipalities, so that each 
may profit from the experiments of all the rest; and only 
the statistical method is adapted for these studies. Es- 
pecially useful is it to have a basis of comparative costs, in 
all cities, of all forms of public service; for it is in the cities 
that public debt, expenditures, and taxes are increasing at 
unprecedented rates; — $2,399,932,026 was the funded and 
floating indebtedness of these cities in 1910 — larger by far 
than national, state and county debts combined. The 
census statistics of cities illuminate many of the municipal 
problems. They reveal their multitude and their immensity. 
But they suggest no method whereby can be arrested the 
steady flow of population away from the soil and into the 

In the great city of London, the official reports reveal an 
army of 124,000 paupers. The number varies, but the 
tendency is to increase. Some are temporarily unemployed; 
the bulk are chronic cases. This pitiful army appeals to 
otu- compassion; but we do not want to add it to our popula- 
tion. Its existence, in the financial center of the world, is 
a hideous commentary upon the maladjustment of social 
conditions, as well as upon the unequal usefulness of individ- 


ual units in the social cosmos. It is terrible evidence that 
the human race is made up of differing types of men and 
women, a certain measurable proportion of whom are either 
valueless, or detrimental to the rest of society, economically 
and from every other point of view. We have as yet no 
parallel in our country to this phase of municipal life in 
London. But are not conditions such that we may yet 
duplicate it? 

It is not alone the immigrant who is crowding the cities, 
and steadily increasing their drain upon the food production 
of the agricultural sections. The allure of the city attracts 
the young men and young women of the farm. They are 
among the recruits who man the big shops and overcrowd 
the non-productive occupations. Our modem type of 
immigrant will not go to the farm; he prefers to herd with 
his own; while back in the coimtry the farmer calls in vain 
for help to plow and sow and reap. We have here no peas- 
ant class, such as clings to the soil for generations in the 
European countries. With an increase in population from 
1900 to 1910 of 21 per cent., the urban population increased 
34.8 per cent, and the rural population but 11.2 per cent. 
In certain of the Eastern and Middle West States many 
agricultural counties show decreases in population, even 
when their towns and villages increase in size. 

The increase of crops, from 1899 to 1909, was but 10 per 
cent., as against this increase of 21 per cent, in population. 
It is an inevitable inference that the ability of the country to 
supply its own food products is soon to be put to the test. 
In the former year, we cultivated for all cereals, 240 acres per 
thousand of population; in 1909 only 208 acres. The increase 
was only Vv of 1 per cent. ; yet the men, women and children 
increased by fifteen million. 

For a time at least we can meet this growing disparity in 
food production, in cereals at least, by reducing agricultural 
exports. Thus our domestic problem becomes a world 
problem; for the older nations depend upon us to feed them; 
they show, nearly everywhere, the same phenomenon — a 


lessening ratio of increase in food production, as compared 
to the population increase. We need not look beyond these 
facts for the most important explanation of the world-wide 
increase in the cost of living. The whole problem arises out 
of the steadily decreasing proportion of the people, here and 
elsewhere, engaged in productive agriculture. But we do 
need to look carefully into these economic conditions which 
are upsetting the economic status in which we have been 
living without realizing what its causes are, what its effects 
are certain to be. The tension is increasing so steadily, that 
the breaking point must be reached in time — ^perhaps in 
our life-time. It is a situation which calls for the best 
thought of our best minds. Able men are studying it the 
world over. The members of the American Statistical 
Association can find no more fruitful field to which to direct 
their investigations. 

The growth of our cities, with their vast industrial plants 
and their enormous output of manufactured goods, is ac- 
cepted as the evidence of ever increasing prosperity. The 
relatively small growth of our agriculture, and its actual 
decline in sections where it once prospered, must just as 
certainly be regarded as the sign of decadence. Conditions 
thus justify the question whether our apparent prosperity is 
not in some degree fictitious; and whether, in our hurry to 
develop our natural resources and to pile up wealth, we have 
not overstimulated industrial exploitation, and are destined 
to pay the penalty. 

Our country is the one in which the science of statistics has 
the widest opportunity, the largest and most varied field, in 
which results not only are the most interesting, but most po- 
tent, in determining the future of civilization. It is an in- 
spiring outlook for the young statistician. There is real 
and vital work for him to do, as necessary and as valuable as 
that which falls to any specialist in any field. Thus it 
happens that the study of statistics has been introduced in 
most of our great universities, and specialized training may 
be obtained in any statistical field. Twenty five years ago 


the subject was unrecognized in any college curriculum. 
Today it is more generally taught in American institutions 
of learning, than in those of any other country. 


But the vision of the future of the science is broader 
than our own country; it reaches out over the whole 
family of nations, where co-laborers are at work along the 
same lines as ourselves, with equal energy and enthusiasm, 
with results of equal importance. 

One phase of this world work in statistical investigation is 
especially important: it looks to the unification and stand- 
ardization of international statistics, so that the application 
of the laws which the science develops, may become universal. 

We have seen that the governing laws of the social body 
can only be discovered by the accumulation of statistical 
facts; equally true is it, that when every country has its own 
peculiar characteristics and types, these types only become 
^capable of complete numerical expression when compared 
with those of other countries. Statistics can accomplish 
their full purpose only when data of identical character 
embrace the widest possible field. It is the dream of the 
true statistician that the day will some time arrive when the 
facts of demography will be available, on identical bases, for 
the entire globe. When that dream is realized; when com- 
parable international statistics actually and everywhere 
exist, then we shall know the laws which determine human 
progress, and can eflfectively apply them. The International 
Statistical Institute* has become a powerful agency, among 
the many which are leading to this goal. 

* The most notable paper read at the London Statistical Jubilee of 1885 was that 
of Professor von Neuman-Spallart, who reviewed the work of the nine International 
Statistical Congresses which had been held in the various capitals of Europe from 
1853 to 1876, and had then ceased to reassemble. These nine Statistical Congresses 
were held at Brussels, in 1853; Paris, in 1855; Vienna, in 1857; London, in 1860; 
Beriin, in 1863; Florence, in 1867; The Hague, in 1869; St. Petersburg, in 1872; and 
Budapest, in 1876. Professor Neuman-Spallart epitomized the work of these nine 
Congresses, pointed out the long steps in advancing international statistics which 


Statistics is the twin sister of international law, in multi- 
plying the ways and methods of mutual help, cooperation 
and understanding between the nations. Both sciences 
supply indispensable links in the lengthening chain of world 
unity. Scores of conventions between nations regulate 
their mutual intercourse — such as the Postal Union; the 
codification of "the rules of the road" at sea; wireless teleg- 
raphy regulations; international sanitary regulations — and 
tend to make the world "a totality of interrelated forces." 
Forty nations have aheady adopted and are using the metric 
system of money, weights and measures. This agency for 
the convenience and simplification of international com- 
merce and intercourse has brought to the world a gain which 
can not be measured even in statistical terms. May we not 
then hope that the time will come when all the great nations 
wiU recognize and accept the fact that the unification of 
international statistics will prove an instrumentality equally 
potent for the uplift of the human race in every land? 

The greater problems to the solution of which statistics 
lends its aid are world problems; each nation is at work upon 
them, each in its own environment, according to its own lights, 
out of its own peculiar experience. The language which 
statistics employs is a imiversal language; but its terms and 
methods must be made to approach that exactness and 
uniformity which will make its lessons alike to all. By the 
use of the statistical method, all nations are working out 
these problems contemporaneously, each with the advantage 
of knowledge of the experience of every other nation, and 
each thus lending its own experience to all the others, in the 
common quest for truth. 

Some of us have faith to believe that the day of univer- 
sal justice is coming to the world, that it draws yearly nearer, 
and that in the end it will make international wars impossible. 

marked the deliberations and the resolutions of each; and ended by a strong plea 
for their reorganization in the form of a free International Statistical Institute — 
which was then and there effected, and which has since continued in biennial meet- 
ings, to render valuable service in the imification and harmonizing of a comparable 
system of International statistics. 


We recognize no agency more effective to this end than the 
statistical method, through which alone we can gain com- 
plete knowledge of ourselves and of other peoples, and 
measure the relative progress of each and of all. 

Thus the science of Statistics in the large sense is the 
greatest of all the sciences; for beyond all others it becomes 
the international bond of union. Behold therefore within 
the life-time of the Association, through this young science 
of ours the whole world is akin ! 





By George Handley Knibbs, C.M.G., F.S.S. 

Honorary Member A.S.A., Member I.I.S., etc. 

On the 23d August, 1770, Captain Cook took possession 
"of the whole eastern coast from lat. 38° to (this place) 
lat. 103^° S. in right of His Majesty King George the Third." 
Sovereignty on behalf of the British crown was thus pro- 
claimed over what are now the eastern parts of New South 
Wales and Queensland. Formal possession of the whole of 
the eastern part of the Australian continent and Tasmania 
was taken on the 26th January, 1788, when Captain Phillip, 
the first governor, read his commission to the people whom 
he had brought with him in the " First Fleet." The territory 
of New South Wales over which the governor had jurisdic- 
tion, and of New Zealand, which may be included, although 
Cook's annexation was not properly given eflfect to until 
1840, was thus in square miles — ^Australia, east of 135°, 
1,454,312; Van Diemen's Land, 26,215; New Zealand, 
104,471; that is, a total of 1,584,998 square miles. The 
western part of Australia, containing 1,494,054 square nules, 
was later annexed. In 1863 Australasia had been divided 
into seven colonies. (See table hereunder.) The Northern 
Territory was formerly a portion of South Australia, i.e., 
from 1863 to 1910, but is now federal territory, and the 
Federal Capital Territory was part of New South Wales. 

On the 1st January, 1901, the colonies mentioned above, 
with the exception of New Zealand, were federated under 
the name " Commonwealth of Australia," and the component 
colonies were thenceforward known as states. 

What has preceded will render intelligible the evolution 
of statistics in Australia. From the period of the first 
settlement to the introduction of responsible government, 






1 ^ 



Sq. M. 

New South Wales*. . 













South Australia 


Northern Territory .... 
Fed. Capital Territory. 


CoTnmonwealth 2,974,581 square miles. 

* Exclusive of Federal Capital Territory. 

the governor of New South Wales, and, from the separation 
of their respective colonies, the governors of these colonies 
were required to furnish annual reports to the Colonial 
Office. For a number of years these reports dealt mainly 
with administrative matters, the only statistical question 
dealt with being that of population, but from about 1820 
onward they contain information of a more varied nature, 
and particulars in regard to schools, to judicial matters, to 
the finances of the colony, and finally shipping and commercte 
are added. The reports have now become "Blue Books," 
and it is in these Blue Books that practically all statistical 
information relating to Australia in the first half of the 
nineteenth century is to be obtained. As soon as the gov- 
ernor was assisted in his official duties by a council, officers 
were appointed to administer various departments of the 
government. Of these officers one, generally called " colonial 
secretary," and in some cases "chief secretary," acted as 
the priacipal intermediary between the governor and the 
people of the colony. He countersigned orders, and grad- 
ually became charged with a multitude of functions, amongst 
which the one interesting to us from a statistical point of 
view was the annual preparation of the "Blue Book." For 


a number of years three manuscript copies were written out, 
one for transmission to the Colonial Office, one for the gov- 
ernor, and one for the colonial secretary himself. In due 
course of time parts of the Blue Book seemed to have been 
asked for by the general public so that it became necessary 
to print them. Census tables were printed very early, but 
financial statements and trade returns are available in man- 
uscript only till well towards the middle of the century. 

When government departments began to multiply, one of 
the chief subordinate officers of the colonial secretary was 
everywhere the registrar-general, very properly so called as 
he was not only charged with the registration of births, 
deaths, and marriages, but also with the registration of 
titles to land, mortgages, and sometimes patents and copy- 
right. The preparation of the Blue Book naturally devolved 
upon this officer, and when the Colonial Office, after the 
introduction of responsible government, no longer asked for 
it, the governments of the various states continued the publi- 
cation on their own account, its name being now changed to 
that of "Statistical Register," while the name "Blue Book" 
was retained exclusively for the annual list of public officers. 

There is reason to believe that the registrars-general were 
inclined to look upon the compilation of the annual " Statis- 
tical Register" as an onerous addition to their legitimate 
work, and that, therefore, no serious attempts were made 
to improve the publications. New offices could be created 
only under parliamentary authority, which might or might 
not have been difficult to obtain if it had been asked for. 
But it does not appear that any of the state governments 
took much interest in the matter, and it was not until 1873 
that the state of Victoria appointed a " Government Statist," 
who, in addition to his statistical duties, was also charged 
with the registration of births, deaths, and marriages. The 
New South Wales statistical office, established in 1886, was 
the first office which was altogether separated from other 
offices, and the only one which has remained more or less free 
from extraneous work ever since. 


It was probably the healthy rivalry, which was not long in 
showing itself, between the Victorian and New South Wales 
offices which led to the great improvement in statistical work 
from 1886 to 1906. Valuable contributions to statistical 
inquiry were also made by the Tasmanian statistician, and 
Western Australia did not wait long, after obtaining self- 
government in 1890, before bringing its statistical methods 
up to date. 

The range of statistical data with which the state bureaus 
were dealing during that period were approximately as fol- 

(a) Statistics collected and compiled entirely by the bureaus: 

Dairy Farming. 
Live Stock. 
Municipal Administration. 
Hospitals, Asylums, etc. 

(b) Statistics compiled in the bureaus from data collected by other public depart- 


Births, Deaths, and Marriages. 

Life Assurancie. 
Criminal Justice. 

(c) Statistics collected and compfled by other departments, and enlarged, con- 

densed, coordinated, or otherwise adapted for publication by the bureaus: 
Public Finance. 
Railways and Tramways. 
Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones. 
Land Settlement. 
Mining Production. 
Water Conservation and Lrigation. 
Civil Justice. 
Public Instruction, Scientific Societies, Museums, etc. 

The unequal manner in which the state governments 
equipped their bureaus both with officers and with funds 
was the main cause of the degree of completeness with which 
many of the data enumerated could be tabulated, and as 


time went on the want of cobrdination began to make itself 
felt seriously. 

Attempts to overcome this diflBeulty were made especially 
in the "Victorian Year Book," which contained a large 
amount of information relating to the whole of the states, 
and in the publication of the New South Wales Bureau, 
originally called "The Seven Colonies of Australasia," and 
afterwards changed to "A Statistical Account of Australia 
and New Zealand." 

In addition the New South Wales Bureau published an- 
nually "The Wealth and Progress of New South Wales," 
which was continued later as "The Official Year Book of 
New South Wales." This book as well as the Victorian 
Year Book have, with the exception of a few gaps, appeared 
annually from the dates of their first publication to the 
present time. Queensland, South Australia, Western Aus- 
tralia, and Tasmania have also issued similar publications 
at irregular intervals. 

Several conferences of the state statisticians were held 
during that period to deal with matters where coordination 
was most urgently required, and in some, if not in all, cases 
improvements resulted therefrom. This was notably so in 
regard to the Censuses of 1891 and 1901, and to the collection 
of statistics of manufactories. 

There was, however, no authority in existence which could 
enforce the decisions of these conferences, and it began, 
therefore, to be recognized that a different arrangement was 
required. The opportunity to do so presented itself with 
the federation of the six Australian states, which took place 
as from 1st January, 1901. The fifty first section of the 
Commonwealth Constitution Act contains, among a list of 
thirty nine different subjects concerning which the common- 
wealth is authorized to legislate, as No. 11, the item "Census 
and Statistics." It was, however, not until the 8th Decem- 
ber, 1905, that the "Census and Statistics Act, 1905," 
passed by the federal parliament, became law. This Act, 
the main provisions of which are quoted below, provided for 


the appointment of a federal statistician and for the estab- 
lishment of a Federal Bureau of Census and Statistics. 

Present Statistical Organization 
The "Census and Statistics Act, 1905" provides: 

(1) For the appointment of a commonwealth statistician and for the delegation 

of his powers; 
(i8) For the taking of a census in 1911, and every tenth year thereafter; 
(3) For the annual collection of statistics in relation to all or any of the following 


(a) Population. 

(b) Vital, Social, and Industrial Matters. 

(c) Employment and Non-employment. 

(d) Imports and Exports. 

(e) Interstate Trade. 

(f) Postal and Telegraphic Matters. 

(g) Factories, Mines, and Productive Industries generally. 

(h) Agricultural, Horticultural, Viticultm-al, Dairying, and Pastoral 

(i) Banking, Instu-ance, and Finance, 
(j) Railways, Tramways, Shipping, and Transport, 
(k) Land Tenure and Occupancy; and 
(1) Any other prescribed matters. 

Under the authority of this Act, a commonwealth statis- 
tician was appointed early in 1906, and as it appeared desir- 
able that the nucleus of his staff should be appointed from 
among the officers of the existing state bureaus, he soon 
afterwards undertook a journey to each of the six state 
capitals in order to inquire into the methods adopted in 
the collection and compilation of statistics, the qualifications 
of individual officers, and into the legal and administrative 
powers possessed by the different bureaus for the collection 
of their statistics. On his return he made certain recom- 
mendations to the government, and soon afterwards a num- 
ber of officers were appointed, so that the Bureau of Census 
and Statistics was able to commence operations in November, 

Practically the first matter of importance to be considered 
was the question of the relations between the Commonwealth 


Bureau and the existing state bureaus. Two methods of 
procedure were open to the federal government. 

The first was the complete unification of all statistical 
organizations in Australia. If this had been adopted the 
Commonwealth Bureau would have controlled all statistical 
work, and would have been represented in each state by a 
branch office which would have undertaken the collection 
and first tabulation of statistical data under the direction of 
the central bureau. A second method was to preserve the 
internal independence of the state bureaus, and to arrange 
for them to furnish the federal bureau with data compiled 
according to a system agreed upon. The federal govern- 
ment chose the second method as being, at present, and in 
view of all circimistances, more suitable to the actual con- 
dition of Australian statistics, and it was thereupon resolved 
to hold a conference of statisticians which should discuss 
the arrangements to be made in order to satisfy the require- 
ments of the state government as well as those of the fed- 
eral government. 

A statistical conference met in Melbourne in November 
and December, 1906, under the presidency of the common- 
wealth statistician, and all the states of the commonwealth 
were represented as well as the dominion of New Zealand. A 
number of resolutions were passed, and a set of statistical 
forms approved, on which the state statisticians undertook 
to furnish compilations of the data collected in their respec- 
■ tive states. It was recognized, however, that the collection 
of such a uniform set of statistics would meet with difficul- 
ties in those states whose offices were insufficiently staffed, 
and a further resolution was, therefore, unanimously agreed 
to, by which the statisticians undertook to make represen- 
tations to their governments in regard to the supply of the 
means and the staff necessary to the carrying out of their 
obligations towards the Commonwealth Bureau of Statis- 
tics. It was further resolved to adopt, in the compilation 
of vital statistics, the nosological classification of the Inter- 
national Statistical Institute. At the wish of the stat- 


isticians, the commonwealth statistician undertook the 
preparation of a translation of the latest French issue of the 

In the main, relations between the Commonwealth Bureau 
and the state bureaus have continued on the basis estab- 
lished by the 1906 conference, but it was soon found neces- 
sary for the Commonwealth Bureau to undertake original 
compilations, and to develop the scope of the work beyond 
the mere summarization and analysis of returns furnished 
by the state bureaus. 

The first branch of statistics taken over for compilation 
by the Commonwealth Bureau was that relating to com- 
merce and shipping. Beturns are received direct from the 
various customs houses and compiled in this Bureau. Not- 
withstanding the provisions of the Census and Statistics 
Act, it has been found necessary to omit the interstate trade 
from the compilation during recent years, inasmuch as the 
Customs Department has ceased to collect data in relation 

It was, moreover, soon found that a compilation of vital 
statistics, based on the compilations made in the six state 
bureaus, would not only be very late in appearing, but would 
not make the best use of the information to be extracted 
from the registers of births, deaths, and marriages, it being 
self-evident that the pace made by the slowest of the bureaus 
limited the Commonwealth Bureau, and that the scope of 
the information would be determined by the bureau making 
the most meager use of the information at its command. 
It was, therefore, decided to undertake the original com- 
pilation of vital statistics in the Commonwealth Bureau, 
and arrangements were made under which the registrars- 
general of the states supply the Bureau quarterly with copies 
of all registrations effected in their states. These copies are 
furnished on individual cards, and enable the compilation to 
progress continuously during the year, so that the Bureau 
now finds it possible to issue the complete vital statistics 


of the commonwealth about six months after the completion 
of the year. 

It has been stated on a previous page that the New South 
Wales Statistical Bureau had been publishing annually since 
1891 "The Seven Colonies of Australasia," succeeded later 
by "A Statistical Account of Australia and New Zealand." 
It was considered, on the estabhshment of the Common- 
wealth Bureau, that the compilation of a publication of that 
nature properly fell within the sphere of the federal authori- 
ties, and arrangements were therefore made for the publi- 
cation of the "OflBcial Year Book of The Commonwealth," 
the first issue of which appeared in 1907, and which has been 
continued annually since that date. The publication of 
the "Statistical Account" came to an end in 1904. 

The "Census and Statistics Act, 1905 " provided, amongst 
other things, for the annual collection of statistics in rela- 
tion to industrial matters, and to employment and non- 
employment. It was not until 1910 that this work could 
be taken in hand. An inquiry was then made into the cost 
of living by means of householders' budgets covering the 
period from 1st July, 1910, to 30th June, 1911, and the re- 
sults were published in December, 1911. This was followed 
in December, 1912, by a Report on Prices, Price Indexes, 
and the Cost of Living, and in April, 1913, by a further Re- 
port on Trade Unionism, Unemployment, Wages, Prices, 
and Cost of Living, 1891 to 1912. In this connection an 
investigation was made to determine the technical pro- 
cedure which would yield satisfactory results, and a method 
of aggregate expenditure on a complex-unit was adopted 
after having been shown to have the maximum theoretical 
as well as practical advantage. Since then a Labor Bulle- 
tin has been published quarterly which deals with the fol- 
lowing matters : 

Industrial Conditions. 


Retail Prices, House Rent, and Cost of Living. 

Wholesale Prices. 


Industrial Disputes. 

Changes in Rate of Wages. 

Assisted Immigration. 

State Free Employment Bureaus. 

Industrial Accidents. 

Distribution of Wages in Manufacturing Industries. 

Reports from Industrial Centers in the Several States. 

Reports of Labor Departments and Bureaus in Aus- 

Labor Matters Abroad and Imperial and Foreign Pub- 
In accordance with the "Census and Statistics Act," the 
Commonwealth Bureau carried out the first Commonwealth 
Census in 1911. This implied the employment of about 
400 enumerators (supervisors of Census Districts), 7,000 
collectors, a maximum of 280 tabulators, and an expendi- 
ture of £170,000. A nnimber of preliminary census bulletins 
have been published, and the complete work, including a 
voluminous report, should shortly be received from the 

The officers at the head of the several statistical bureaus 
of Australia, both the "statisticians" themselves and their 
principal officers, have received their training through prac- 
tical work. This has been necessitated by the fact that 
there were no professional courses in the universities having 
special regard to statistics, a subject which has not been 
undertaken by the Australian universities. At the present 
time, however, there are courses on commerce and economics 
in Sydney and Melbourne. It is perhaps desirable to ex- 
plain that both in the commonwealth and in the states there 
are public service acts in existence which make it practically 
impossible, with the exception of the case of purely profes- 
sional officers, for officers to be appointed to the service after 
they have passed a certain age limit, and otherwise than to 
the lowest class of the service. It follows, therefore, that 
the statistical bureaus are principally recruited from raw 
material, and that they have to undertake the training of 


their own officers. Of course there are possibilities of trans- 
ferring suitable officers from other departments, and for 
transferring officers from the state services to the federal 
service. This system, though by no means perfect, works 
fairly well, in those offices at least where the heads take 
sufficient interest in their junior officers to see that they do 
not merely pick up the routine of their work, but that they 
devote some of their spare time to private study. The 
system, however, leaves much to be desired and could be 
greatly improved. 

A list of publications issued by the Commonwealth Bureau 
and by the several state bureaus is appended. The list 
also contains those publications of a more or less statistical 
nature which are periodically issued by other government 

Future Development of Statistical Organization 

The defects at present existing in the statistical organi- 
zation of Australia may be divided into : (1) Administrative 
defects, and (2) Defects in the scope of the statistics. 

With respect to the former, it may be said that, although 
as regards the destinies and development of its five million 
people, Australia is a unity — and consequently its statistics 
should be on a common basis throughout — ^there is at pres- 
ent no satisfactory method of ensuring xmiformity in the 
collection of data and in the compilation of its statistics. 
For so small a population, the compilation, for the entire 
continent, one would think, should be undertaken at one 
center, at the earliest possible moment and in a uniform 
manner. As a matter of fact this is done only for statistics 
of population, vital statistics, trade and shipping, banking, 
insurance, cost of living, labor, and wages statistics, while 
the important fields of statistics of production, involving 
agricultural, pastoral, dairying, mining, manufacturing, 
forestry and fisheries, etc., are independently collected and 
computed by individual states, and there is no one center 
where all the details are available for systematic study. It 


is obvious that only by authoritative direction from some 
one central authority can further fuhdamental improve- 
ment now be readily secured. Uniform efficiency in the 
machinery of statistical administration in the several states 
cannot readily be secured since the equipment in per- 
sonnel and material is diflferent in each state: a central 
bureau is powerless to remedy this without being in gen- 
eral control. Under the Census and Statistics Act of the 
Commonwealth adequate powers exist to do all that is 
necessary, and, if radical improvement is to be effected, it 
may become necessary for the latent powers of the com- 
monwealth to be exercised to a greater extent than at 
present. The existing scheme is only a modus vivendi, and 
appears to have inherent limitations which even the most 
cordial response on the part of the state statistical authori- 
ties could not entirely remove. Administrative direction 
as regards the entire scheme of collecting and compiling 
statistics should be centralized. This would secure not only 
uniformity but should also greatly reduce the aggregate 
cost, and would, moreover, properly subordinate the merely 
local to the general interest. This is an essential for any 
fundamental improvement. 

Throughout the world, social and economic changes are 
so rapid that their acciu-ate statistical measurement becomes 
increasingly important. The relations of labor and capital, 
moreover, are becoming more and more subject to state 
interference, and an adequate statistic for the appraisement 
of its consequence has become essential. To accurately 
appreciate the magnitude of the dynamic force of economic 
changes, and to forecast the consequences of labor and 
general legislation, there never was a greater need for an 
appropriate statistic. Nor was there ever a time when 
statistics were more needed as a guide to future legislation. 
The necessary data need to be compiled and statistical 
analyses to be made. In this connection may be men- 
tioned such features as variations in the cost of living due to 
changes, both in the standard and in the prices of commodi- 


ties. The labor policy of forcing up wages, and its eco- 
nomic, industrial and political consequences, necessitate 
the most careful study. Considerations of this nature in- 
dicate that future legislation will do well to be guided by 
statistical research, and that its effects need to be subjected 
to statistical analysis. 

The details of the various problems will, however, no 
doubt present different features in different countries, so 
that, in regard to international cooperation, there can only 
be a general agreement as to technique and method. 

In connection with the question of securing the largest 
possible amount of international cooperation, it may be 
said, that for comparative purposes, the wider the range 
of uniformity the more valuable will be the statistics. 
To bring about a satisfactory issue, it is essential that some 
person with a suflBcient staff shall study the entire scheme and 
all the details of the collection and compilation of the statis- 
tics of each country. By means of such a study, a wide 
scheme of unification could be developed and submitted 
for the consideration of the statisticians of individual coip- 
tries for their criticisms and observations. Thjs draft, 
amended after receiving such criticism, and then submitted 
to an international conference, would probably lead to val- 
uable results. Nothing short of this will, in my judgment, 
be successful, and it would be an international labor, well 
worthy to be undertaken. The International Statistical 
Institute is already moving in this direction. 

The mqde of selecting and appointing officers in Australia 
has already been referred to. Unquestionably considerable 
improvement can be made in securing appropriate quali- 
fication and the proper training of statistical officers. A 
statistical bureaiu requires two classes of assistants, namely: 

(1) Tabulators, compilers, and arithmetical computers; and 

(2) mathematical and general analysts. 

The ordinary tabulator, compiler and computer has, in 
the main, merely a routine occupation. The technique 
which he has to acquire is not really difficult, and his daily 


activities demand little more than arithmetical expertness 
and general shrewdness. He may be said to belong to the 
army of superior clerks, and to possess what are essentially 
clerical qualifications. 

The mathematical and general analyst and higher com- 
puter must, in addition to the special mathematical knowl- 
edge, possess considerable powers of analysis, aptitude for 
original research, and the special ability to penetrate the 
hidden significance of statistical data in any department 
to which he may apply himself. It is on ability of this 
kind that the just interpretation of the statistical results 
depends, and for this reason he needs to be a man of higher 

Under the existing scheme in Australia, there is no ade- 
quate official provision for securing men of the necessary 
education and natural aptitude. It hardly needs to be 
pointed out that routine training will not develop the 
necessary talent. As in all higher callings, it is essential 
to make a selection from people with natural endowments 
in the required direction. The public service system prob- 
ably everywhere tends to appraise mere shrewdness more 
highly than specialized ability. The type of man needed 
for higher statistical work is the scientific type. Because of 
this, and because the officer of the highest qualffication 
loves his calling, and has not time to keep superficial attain- 
ments constantly in evidence, he is in perpetual danger of 
being overlooked in so-called official advancement. Ad- 
vance in these instances should be possible and should be 
awarded for increasing efficiency in the special field. The 
men who are most able and most deVoted to their special 
fields will have the least time to devote to the usual methods 
of attaining advancement. Since the very character of 
his special qualifications tends to minimize his chances of 
promotion, it is necessary to place its financial inducements 
on a higher plane than those of mere clerical and admin- 
istrative positions. 



Statistieal Publications of Australia 

(I) iNTKODtrcTOKT. — ^The official statistical publications of Australia may be 
divided bibliographically into two main divisions, viz.: — (1) Commonwealth pub- 
lications dealing both individually and collectively with the several states of the 
commonwealth, and (2) state publications dealing with individual states only. 
Besides these there are a large nimiber of publications issued regularly, which, 
though not wholly statistical, necessarily contain a consideiable amount of statis- 
tical information. These are included in the lists given hereunder, which are 
revised to the end of 1913. 

(II) Commonwealth Ptiblications. — Commonwealth publications may be 
grouped under two heads, viz.: — (a) Publications issued by the Commonwealth 
Statistician, and (b) Departmental Reports and Papers. 

{a) Publications issued by the Commonwealth Statistician. The following is 
a list of statistical publications issued from the Commonwealth Bureau of Cen- 
sus and Statistics since its inauguration and up to 31st December, 1913. 
The annual Demography, Finance, Production, and Transport and Commimica- 
tion Bulletins cover statistics from 1901. The Year Book contains figures from 
earlier years. 

Census Bulletins — Jffo. 1 — ^Population of States and Territories; No. 2 — 
Persons of Non-European Race; No. 3 — ^Ages; No. 4 — Population of Coun- 
ties, Local Government Areas, etc.; No. 5 — ^Population of Electoral Divi- 
sions, Provinces, and Districts; No. 6 — Birthplaces; No. 7 — ^Length of Resi- 
dence in Australia; No. 8— Religions; No. 9 — ^Education; No. 10 — Blindness 
and Deafmutism; No. 11 — Schooling; No. 12 — Conjugal Condition; No. 
13 — ^Localities; No. 14 — ^Mortality Investigation; No. IS — Families; No. 
16 — Occupations; No. 17 — Occupied Dwellings. 
Finance — Bulletins, annually, 1907 to 1912. 

Labour and Industrial Statistics — ^Explanatory Memorandum on the Proposed 
Scheme. Report No. 1 — ^Prices, Price-Indexes and Cost of Living in Aus- 
tralia. Report No. 2 — ^Trade Unionism, Unemployment, Wages, Prices, 
and Cost of Living in Australia, 1891 to 1912. 
Labour Bulletins — Quarterly, May, August, and November, 1913. 
Inquiry into the Cost of Living in Australia, 1910-11 — Reports on Prices, Price 
Indexes, and the Cost of Living, 1912. Report on Trade Unionism, Unem- 
ployment, Wages, Prices, and Cost of Living, 1913. Labour Bulletins 
(quarterly) Nos. 1 to 4. 
Monthly Summary of Australian Statistics — Bulletins, monthly, since January, 

Population and Vital Statistics Bulletins — Determination of the Population of 
Australia, 1901 to 1906. Commonwealth Demography, annually, 1906 to 
1910. Vital Statistics, annually, 1907 to 1910. Commonwealth Demog- 


raphy (.comprising matter previously included in two last-named Bulletins) 
1911 and 1912. Vital Statistics, quarterly, 1907 to June, 1911. The 
Nomenclature of Diseases and of Causes of Death, 1907. New Edition, 

Production — ^Bulletins, annually, 1906 to 1911. 

Professional Papers — ^No. 1 — ^The Classification of Diseases and Causes of 
Death, from the standpoint of the Statistician; Nos. 2 and 3 — On the Influ- 
ence of Infantile Mortality on Birthrate (2 papers) ; No. 4 — On the Statistical 
Opportunities of the Medical Profession; No. 6 — ^Tuberculosis Duration 
Frequency Curves, and the number of existing cases ultimately fatal; No. 
6 — The Problems of Statistics; No. 7 — ^The Evolution and Significance of the 
Census; No. 8 — Census Taking, by C. H. Wickens, A.I.A.; No. 9 — Studies 

in Statistical Representation — On the nature of the curve ^ "*"* ; No. 

10 — Studies in Statistical Representation — Statistical Application of the 
Fourier series; No. 11 — Suicide in Australia; No. 12 — ^An Extension of 
the Principle Underlying Woolhouse's Method of Graduation, by C. H. 
Wickens, A.I.A.; No. 13 — ^The First Commonwealth Census; No. 14 — 
Mathematical Analysis of CK^iatological Physiology; No. 16 — The Inter- 
national Nosological Classification, etc.; No. 16 — Secular Progress of Pul- 
monary Tuberculosis and Cancer, etc.; No. 17 — The Improvement in Infan- 
tile Mortality, etc.; No. 18 — Secular and Annual Fluctuations of Deaths 
from Several Diseases, etc. 

Railway Statistics — ^Report on the Desirability of Improved Statistics of 
Government Railways in Australia, February, 1909. 

Shipping — Shipping and Oversea Migration, annually, 1906 to 1912. 

Social Insurance — ^Report to the Hon. the Minister of Trade and Customs. 

Superannuation for the Commonwealth Public Service — ^Report to the Hon. the 
Minister of Home Affairs. 

The Australian Commonwealth: Its Resources and Production — Annually, 1908 
to 1913. 

Trade and Customs — ^Trade, and Customs and Excise Revenue, annually, 1906 
to 1912. 

Trade, Shipping, and Oversea Migration — ^Monthly, January, 1907, to De- 
cember, 1911 (now discontinued; issued as part of Monthly Summary of 
Australian Statistics). 

Transport and Communicaiion — Bulletins, annually, 1906 to 1912. 

Social Statistics — Bulletins, annually, 1907 to 1911. 

Official Year Book of the Commonwealth — Aimually, 1907 to 1912. 

Pocket Compendium of Commonwealth Statistics — Official Statistics, 1913. 
(6) Commonwealth Parliamentary and Departmental Reports and Papers. The 
following are the principal official reports and papers containing statistical matter 
which have been issued since the inauguration of the commonwealth: 

Arbitration Coiui;: Returns of Awards, Conferences, Agreements, etc. 

Australia for Farmers, 1910. 

Australia: The Wheat Country. 

Australian Notes: Correspondence relating to the Gold Reserve in respect of 
the issue of. 


Budget, annual, 1901-02 to 1913-14. 

Chief of the General Staff: Memo, re Defence. 

Commonwealth Bank: Balance Sheets and Reports of Auditor-General. 

Commonwealth Factories: Reports on Clothing, Cordite, Small Arms, and 

Harness and Leather Factories. 
Commonwealth Meteorologist: Bulletins of Climate and Meteorology of 

Australia; Rainfall Maps of Australia; Professional Papers and Charts 

(various); Monthly Meteorological Reports, commencing January, 1910. 
Commonwealth Military Journal, issued quarterly, April, 1911, to October, 

Contract Immigrants Act and Immigration Restriction Act: Returns annually, 

1902 to 1912. 
Defence: Inspector-General of Military Forces: Reports, 1905 to 1907. 

Extracts from Report, annual, 1910 to 1913. 
Defence: Memorandimi on Australian Military Defence and its progress since 

Defence: Memorandum on the Defence of Australia, by Field-Marshal Lord 

Defence: Military Board — Reports, 1905 and 1906. 

Defence: Naval Defence of Australia — Memorandum by Admiral Sir Regi- 
nald Henderson. 
Defence: Report on Dockyards, Canteens at Camps, Royal Military College, 

Universal Training, Cadets, Organization and Distribution, etc. 
Director of Naval Forces: Report for 1906. 
Electoral Act: Commissioners' Special Reports. 

Electoral Rolls: Statement by Commonwealth Statistician re Inflation. 
Electoral Statistical Returns re Referenda of 1911 and 1913. 
Electoral Statistics of Commonwealth Elections: 1903, 1906, 1910 and 1913. 
Estimates: 1901-2 to 1913-14. Also Supplementary Estimates. 
Federal Capital City Designs. 
Fisheries: Reports of the Director on Fishing Experiments carried out by the 

F.I.S. "Endeavour." 
Fisheries: Reports on Pearling Industry. 

Fisheries: Zoological Results of Fishing Experiments. Parts 1 to 3. 
Fleet Unit: Memorandimi re arrangement for providing and training personnel . 
Fruit Industry: Report of Royal Commission. 
Handbooks of the Territory of Papua. 
High Commissioner of the Commonwealth: Reports, annual, 1910 to 1912. 

Reports on Australian Butter Market in England. Visit to Canada and 

United States. 
Home Affairs: Schedule of the Department, compiled from the Minister's 

Digests. Nos. 1 to 14. 
Invalid and Old-Age Pensions: Statements re. 
Land Tax Assessment Act: Annual Reports of Commissioner, 1910-11 an V 

Lands and Surveys: Report of Confeience of Commonwealth Director and 

States Surveyors-General . 
Lighthouses: Reports of I nspections, etc. 


Manufactures Eucouragement Act: Returns of Bounties Paid; annual. 

Military and Naval Forces Lists. Also Cadet Forces Lists. 

Naturalization Act 1903 : Returns. 

Northern Territory: Bulletins Nos. 1 to 8. 

Northern Territory: Report of the Government Resident for 1910 (previous 
reports to Government of South Australia). 

Northern Territory: Report of the Acting Administrator for 1911. Admin- 
istrator's Report, 1912. 

Northern Territory: Reports, various. 

Papua: Reports, annual, 1904-5 to 1911-12, and returns to accompany same. 

Papua: Reports, various. 

Parliamentary Papers (miscellaneous); Reports of Committees, Commissions, 
Conferences, etc. 

Patents Statistics, 1904 to 1913. 

Postal Services Royal Commission. 

Postmaster-General's Department: Annual Reports, 1910 and 1911-12. 

Postmaster-General's Department: Statement of Business transacted and 
details of Receipts and Expenditure, 1907, 1908 and 1909. 

Press Cable Subsidy: Amount paid, etc. 

Public Service Commissioner: Report, 1901-4, and Annual Reports, 1905 to 
1912, and Public Service Lists, 1903 to 1912-13. 

Quarantine: Reports. 

Railways: Reports, various, re Gauges of Australian Railways, Unification of 
Gauges, etc. 

Railways: Reports of Engineei^in-Chief. 

Representation Act 1905: Retiu-ns. 

Royal Commission on Tasmanian Customs Leakage. 

Secret Remedies: Based on British Medical Association's Analyses. 

Social Insurance: Report by the Hon. Sir John Cockbum on the Hague 
Conference of 1910. 

Sugar: Statistics, 1901-2 to 1910-11 re White and Black Labour, Production, 
Duties, Excise, Bounties, etc. 

Sugar Industry: Report of Royal Commission. 

Tariff Guide: 1903 to 1912. Also Tariff Schedules. 

Trade and Customs Returns, 1903 to 1905; compiled by the New South Wales 
Government Statistician for the Minister for Customs. 

Trade Marks Statistics, 1904 to 1913. 

Treasurer's Statements and Reports of Auditor-General, annual, 1901-2 to 

Treasury Notes: Amounts issued to the respective Banks of the Common- 

Treasury Statements of Receipts and Expenditure, issued quarterly in the 
Commonwealth Gazette. 

Tropical Diseases: Report by Dr. Breinl. 

(Ill) State Publications. — The chief statistical publications of each state 
issued since Federation may be most conveniently grouped under the following 
heads, viz.: — (a) PubUcations issued by the government statist, (6) parliamentary 


and departmental reports and papers, and (c) reports and statements of local and 
public bodies. These are set out hereunder for each state: 

(o) New South Waibs. — (1) Publications by Government Statistician: 
The Wealth and Progress of New South Wales, 1900-1. 
The Seven Colonies of Australasia, 1901-2. 

A Statistical Accoimt of Australia and New Zealand, 1902-3, 1903-4. 
The Official Year Book of New South Wales, 1904-5 to 1912. 
Six States of Australia and New Zealand (annual statistics), 1901 to 1905. 
Monthly Statistical Bulletin, 1905 to September, 1913. 
Statistical Registers, 1901 to 1911, and 1912 (parts). 
Census of New South Wales, 1901. 

Vital Statistics (annual), 1901 to 1912; and monthly issues to September, 1913. 
Agricultural and Live Stock Statistics, 1901 to 1912. 
Statistical View of the Progress of New South Wales during 50 years, 1856 to 

Friendly Societies' Experience, New South Wales, 1900-8. 
Comparative Legislation relating to the Industrial Classes. 
Population of New South Wales and movements of population between New 

South Wales and other Countries, quarterly, December, 1911, to June, 1913. 
Annual and other Reports on Agricultural, Dairying, and Pastoral Industries, 

on Manufactories and Works, and on Value of Production. 
Statesman's Year Book, 1913. 
(2) Departmental Papers, Annual Reports of: 
Australian Museum. 
Board of Public Health. 
Chief Commissioner of Railways. 
Chief Medical Officer. 
Comptroller-General of Prisons. 
Department of Agriculture. 
Department of Crown Lands. 
Department of Mines. 
Department of Police. 
Department of Public Works. 
Director of Botanical Gardens and Domain. 
Director of Labour. 
Factories and Shops Act; Minimiun Wage Act; Early Closing Acts; Shearers' 

Accommodation Act, etc. 
Fisheries Board. 
Forestry Department. 
Government Bureau of Microbiology. 
Government Railways, Superannuation Account. 
Government Savings Bank. 
Immigration and Tourist Bureau. 
Indtxstrial Schools. 
Inspector-General of Insane. 
Labour Commissioners. 
Leprosy (Board of Health). 


Miners' Accident Relief Fund. 

Minister of Public Instruction. 

National Art Gallery. 

National Park Trust. 

Pharmacy Board. 

Public Disaster Relief Fund. 

Public Library. 

Public Service Board. 

Registrar of Friendly Societies, Building Societies, and Trade Unions. 


Sayings Bank. 

State Brickworks. 

State Children's Relief Board. 

State Debt Commissioners. 

Superintendent of Carpenterian Reformatory. 

Technological Museums. 

University of Sydney. 

Western Land Board. 

Public Service Lists. 

The Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. 

Parliamentary Papers (miscellaneous); Reports of Committees, Commissions, 
Conferences, etc. 

Trade Reports, various. 

Observatory Reports and Bulletins. 

Public Accounts and Report of the Auditor-General. 

Treasiirer's Financial Statement, and Papers to accompany. 

General Election, 1910. Double Voting. Synopsis of the Voting. 

The New South Wales Industrial Gazette (monthly). 

State Contracts for the Public Service. 

Agricultural Gazette (monthly). 

Records of the Geological Survey. 

Statement of Assets and Liabilities of Public Companies (quarterly). 

Statement of Assets and Liabilities of Banks (quarterly). 

Quarterly Return of Gold Yields. 
(3) Reports and Statements of Local Bodies: 

Annual Statements of Municipalities. 

Eire Commissioners (formerly Fire Brigades Board). 


Hunter District Water Supply and Sewerage Board. 

Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage. 

OfiBcial Handbook of the Port of Sydney. 

Sydney Harbour Trust Commissioners. 

Town Clerk of the City of Sydney. 
(6) Victoria. — (1) Publications hy the Government Statist: 

Statistical Re^sters, 1901 to 1911, and 1912 (parts). 

The Victorian Year Books, 1902 to 1911-12, and 1912-13 (parts). 

Quarterly Statistical Abstracts, 1904 to 30th June, 1913. 

Quarterly Returns of Vital Statistics, 1901 to 30th June, 1913. 


Vital Statistics, 1911 and 1912. 

Monthly Returns of Oversea Imports and Exports, 1901 to September, 1913. 
Statistics of Manufactories, Works, etc., 1901 to 1911. 
Australasian Statistics, 1901-2, with Summaries for Previous Years. 
The First Fifty Years of Responsible Government in Victoria, 1866 to 1906. 
Census of Victoria, 1901. 

Annual Reports on Agricultural, Viticultural, Dairying, and Pastoral Indus- 
tries, and on Value of Production. 
ASnnual Report on Friendly Societies. 
Annual Report on Trade Unions. 
(2) Departmental Papers, Annual Reports of: 
Board for the Protection of Abori^es. 
Board of Public Health. 
Board of Visitors, Observatory. 
Chief Engineer for Railway Construction. 
Chief Inspector of Explosives. 
Chief Inspector of Factories, Workrooms and Shops. 
Coal Miners' Accidents Relief Fund. 
Committee of Public Accounts. 
Conservator of Forests. 
Council of Judges. 
Council of Public Education. 
Department of Agriculture. 
Department of Crown Lands and Survey. 
Government Astronomer. 
General Manager of State Coal Mines. 
Indeterminate Sentences Board. 
Inspector of Charitable Institutions. 
Inspector-General of the Insane. 
Inspector of Inebriates' Institutions. 
Inspector of Neglected Children and Reformatory Schools. 
Inspector-General of Penal Establishments, Gaols, and Reformatory Prisons. 
Inspector-General of Savings Banks. 
Lands Purchase and Management Board. 
Licenses Reduction Board. 
Marine Board of Victoria. 
Minister of Public Instruction. 
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways. 
Public Service Commissioner. 
Registrar of Friendly Societies. 
Railways Commissioners. 
Secretary for Mines. 

State Rivers and Water Supply Commission. 
Trustees of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery. 
Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University. 
Public Service List. 

Accounts of the Trustees of Agricultural Colleges and the Council of Agricul- 
tural Education. 


The Budget. 

Returns under the Banks and Currency Act 1890, the Companies Act 1890, and 
the Electric Light and Power Act 1896. 

Parliamentary Papers (miscellaneous); Reports of Committees, Commissions, 
Conferences, etc. 

Statement of Expenditure imder the Constitution Statute. 

The Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. 

Treasurer's Statement and Report of the Auditor-General. 

Determinations of Wages Boards. 

The Law relating to Factories and Shops in Victoria. 

Agricultural Journal (monthly). 

Register of Teachers and Register of Schools. 

Quarterly Returns of Yield of Goldfields. 

Memoirs and Bulletins of the Geological Survey. 

Vaccination Progress Report. 

Bank Liabilities and Assets. 
(3) Reports of Local Bodies: 

Annual Reports of the Melbourne Harbour Trust Commission. 

Aimual Reports of the Fire Brigades Board. 

Annual Statements of Municipal and Shire Councils. 

Geelong Municipal Waterworks Trust. 


Report and Statement of Tramways Trust. 

Statement of Accounts of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, 
and Report, 
(c) Queensland. — (1) Publicaiions by Government Statistician: 

The Queensland Official Year Book, 1901. 

The Census of 1901. 

A.B.C. of Queensland Statistics, 1905 to 1913. 

Vital Statistics (annual), 1901 to 1912; and monthly issues to September, 1913. 

Statistical Registers, 1901 to 1912. 

Annual Reports on Agricultural, Dairying, and Pastoral Statistics, 
(2) Departmental Papers, Annual Reports of the: 


Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations. 

Chief Protector of Aboriginals. 

Chief Lispector of Machinery and Scaffolding. 

Commissioner of Public Health. 

Commissioner of Income Tax. 

Commissioner of Police. 

Commissioner for Railways. 

Comptroller-General of Prisons. 

Curator of Intestate Estates. 

Department of Agriculture and Stock. 

Department of Public Lands. 

Department of Public Works. 

Director of Forests. 

Director of Labour and Chief Inspector of Factories and Shops. 


Engineer for Harbovirs and Rivers. 

Government Analyst. 

Government Central Sugar Mills. 

Government Life Insurance and Annuity Business. 

Government Resident at Thursday Island. 

Government Savings Bank. 

Hydraulic Engineer on Water Supply. 

Immigration Agent. 

Inspector of Hospitals for the Insane. 

Inspector of Orphanages. 

Institute of Tropical Medicine. 

Manager of the Government Savings Bank. 

Marine Department. 

Medical Inspector of Schools. 

Officer in Charge, Government Relief. 

Official Trustee in Insolvency. 

Public Service Board. 

Registrar of Friendly Societies, Building Societies, and Trade Unions. 

Secretary for Public Instruction. 

State Children's Department. 

Trustees of the Agricultural Bank. 

Trustees of the National Art Gallery. 

Trustees of. the Public Library. 

UndeivSecretary for Mines. 

University of Queensland. 

Workers' Dwellings Board. 

Blue Book. 

Public Service Lists. 

The Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. 

Parliamentary Papers (miscellaneous); Reports of Committees, Commissions, 
Conferences, etc. 

Public Accounts and Report of the Auditor-General. 

Treasurer's Financial Statement and Tables relating thereto. 

Determinations of Wages Boards. 

Agricultmal Journal (monthly). 

The Queensland Sugar Industry, 1913. 

Reports of the Geological Survey. 

Monthly Reports on Mining, Crown Lands, etc. 
(3) Reports and Statements of Local Bodies: 

Brisbane Board of Waterworks. 

Bimdaberg Harbour Board. 

Engineer for Harbours and Rivers. 

Hospitals, Sanatoria, Asylums, etc. 

Annual Statements of Municipalities. 

Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board, 
(d) South Australia. — (1) Publicaiions by the Under-Secretary and Government 

Statistical Registers, 1901 to 1911, and 1912 (parts). 


MontMy Returns of Births and Deaths, 1901 to September, 1913. 
OflScial Year Book of South Australia, 1912 and 1913. 
The Census of 1901. 
Blue Book. 

Statistical Summary of South Australia from its (oimdation, 1836 to 1910. 
Annual Reports on Manufactories and Works, Live Stock, Wheat Harvest, 
Agricultural and Viticultural Statistics. 

(2) Departmental Papers, Annual Reports of the: 
Actuary on Friendly Societies 1900-4, and 1905-9. 


Chief Inspector of Factories. 

Chief Inspector of Fisheries. 

Chief Inspector of Oyster Fisheries. 

Chief Inspector of Stock. 

Commissioner of Police. 

Commissioner of Railways. 

Conmiissioners of the National Park. 

Department of Public Works. 

Department of Woods and Forests. 

Destitute Board. 

Gaols and Prisons. 

Government Astronomer. 

Government Geologist. 

Government Resident of Northern Territory to 1909 (subsequent reports to 

Commonwealth Government). 
Governors of the Public Library, Museum, and Art Gallery. 
Hospital for the Insane. 
Marine Board. 
Minister for Agriculture. 
Minister for Education. 
Public Service Superannuation Board. 
Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages. 
Registrar of Trade Unions. 
State Children's Council. 
Trustees of the Savings Bank. 
Parliamentary Papers (miscellaneous); Reports of Committees, Commissions. 

Conferences, etc. 
The Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. 

Financial Statement of the Treasurer and appendices relating thereto. 
Determinations of Wages Boards. 

Mining Operations: Halt-Yearly Reviews, 1904 to 1913. 
Records and Reports of Geological Survey. 
Journal of the Department of Agriculture (monthly). 

(3) Reports and Statements of Local Bodies: 

Schools of Mines and Industries. 


Fire Brigades Boards. 

Municipal Tramways Trust. 

City of Adelaide Year Book. 


East Torrens County Board of Health, 
(e) Western Australia. — (1) Publications by Government Statistician: 

The Census of 1901. 

Statistical Registers, 1901 to 1911 and 1912 (parts). 

Monthly Statistical Abstracts, 1901 to September, 1913. 

Year Book of Western Australia, 1900-3, 1902-4, 1905 (part). 

Quarterly and Annual Reports on Population and Vital Statistics. 

Monthly Return of Vital Statistics. 

Crop and Live Stock Returns. 

Blue Book. 

Statistical View of 84 years' progress in Western Australia, 1829 to 1912. 

Comparative Statistics, 1890 to 1912. 

Annual Reports on Agricultural, etc.. Statistics. 

Report on Interstate Trade Returns for the Two Years 1911 and 1912. 
(2) Departmental Papers, Annual Reports of the: 

Aborigines Department. 


Agricultural Bank. 

Art Galleries. 

Chief Inspector of Explosives. 

Chief Inspector of Fisheries. 

Commissioner of Police. 

Commissioner of Railways. 

Conmiissioner of Taxation. 

Comptroller-General of Prisons. 

Department of Agriculture. 

Department of Lands and Surveys. 

Department of Mines. 

Department of Public Works. 

Department of Woods and Forests. 

Education Department. 

Geological Survey. 

Government Analyst. 

Government Astronomer. 

Government Labour Bureau. 

Government Savings Bank. 

Harbour and Light Department. 

Inspector-General of Insane. 

Lands Titles Department. 

Museum and Art Gallery. 

Public Library. 

Principal Medical Officer on Medical, Health, Factories, Early Closing, Vac- 
cination and Quarantine. 

Public Service Commissioner. 


Registrar of Friendly Societies. 

Registrar of Friendly Societies in connection with Industrial Conciliation and 
Arbitration, and Trade Unions. 

Stock Department. 

Superintendent of Charities and Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory 


Parliamentary Papers (miscellaneous); Reports of Committees, Commissions, 
Conferences, etc. 

The Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. 

Public Accounts and Report of the Auditor-General. 

Agricultural Journal (monthly). 

Reports of proceedings before Boards of Conciliation and Court of Arbitration. 

Bulletins of the Department of State Medicine and Public Health. 

Reports and Bulletins of the Geological Survey. 

Government Savings Bank, Comparative Return (monthly) . 

Western Australia, 1912. 
(3) Ueparts and Statements of Local Bodies: 

Cemetery Boards. 

Fire Brigades. 

Fremantle Harbour Trust Commissioners. 

Fremantle Municipal Tramways and Electric Lighting Board. 

Metropolitan Waterworks Board. 

Municipalities, Road Boards, and Boards of Health. 

Public Hospitals. 

Waterworks Boards (country). 
(f) Tasmania. — (1) Publications by Government Statistician: 

The Census of 1901. 

Statistical Registers, 1901 to 1911-12. 

Reports on Vital Statistics and Migration (annual), 1901 to 1911; and monthly 
issues to October, 1912. 

Reports on Agricultural and Live Stock Statistics, 1901 to 1911-12. 

Statistical Summaries, 1901 to 1910-11. 

Gold Yield for 1908 and previous 10 years. 

Annual Reports on Agricultural Production, etc.. Statistics. 

The Statistician's Pocket Year Book of Tasmania, 1913. 
^2) Departmental Papers, Annual Reports of the: 


Agriculttu-al Bank of Tasmania. 

Charitable Grants Department. 

Chief Inspector of Factories. 

Chief Inspector of Stock. 

Commissioner of Taxes. 

Department of Agriculture. 

Department of Education. 

Department of Mines. 

Department of Neglected Children. 

Department of Public Health. 


Engineer-in-Chief of Public Works. 

Explosives Department. 

General Manager of Government Railways. 

Hobart and Launceston Gaols. 

Inspector of Machinery. 

Lands and Survey Department. 

Museum and Botanical Gardens. 

Police Department. 

Public Library. 

Public Service Board. 

Recorder of Titles. 

Registrar of Friendly Societies and Trade Unions. 

Savings Bank. 

University of Tasmania. 

Public Service List. 

The Budget. 

The Estimiates of Revenue and Expenditure. 

Parliamentary Papers (miscellaneous); Reports of Committees, Commissions, 

Conferences, etc. 
Public Debts Sinking Fund. 
Report of the Auditor-General. 
Financial Statement of the Treasurer. 
Wages Boards Determinations. 
Geological Survey Bulletins. 
Progress of the Mineral Industry (quarterly). 
(3) Reports and Statements of Local Bodies: 
Country Libraries. 
Fire Brigade Board. 
Harbour Trusts. 
Hobart Drainage Board. 
Industrial Schools. 
Life Assurance Societies. 
Marine Boards. 



By Dr. Robebt Meter* 

Privy Councillor, former Minister of Finance, late President of the Imperial and 
Royal Central Statistical Commission 

I. The Development of Government Statistix;s in Austria up 
to the Establishment of the Imperial and Royal Central 
Statistical Commission {1863) 

The beginnings of government statistics in Austria extend 
far back into the past. 

Apart from the periodical commercial, financial, and mil- 
itary surveys, made in the reigns of Maximilian I and Charles 
V, which were very imperfect technically, our interest is 
especially attracted in the more remote period by the at- 
tempts of Maria Theresa and Joseph II, whose aim it was 
to ascertain the movement of the population by censuses 
varying in extent. 

The rescripts of October 13, 1753, and of January 7 and 
February 16, 1754, ordered a double census of the real, i.e., 
present, population according to sex, age and citizenship. 

By the rescripts of April 24 and May 22, 1762, a regular 
investigation of the movement of the population was insti- 

The imperial charter of March 10, 1770, ordained a num- 
bering of all dwellings, both inhabited and uninhabited, as 
well as a description of the whole native population, with a 
detailed section referring to the male sex only. The charter 
of December 17, 1777, at last ordered a detailed survey of 
both sexes, an inventory of the beasts of burden, and that 
a record of the data ascertained should be kept in the so- 
called "census books." 

But it was not until the separation of the imperial patri- 

*Dr. Meyer died in May, 1914, shortly after the compilation of this article. — ^Ed. 


monial dominions from the Roman-German Empire and 
their inclusion, constitutionally and administratively, in 
the Empire of Austria, that a number of government 
measures were brought to a head, which had in view the 
organization of continuous statistics in all possible branches 
of the administration. First of all by the charter (patent) 
of October 25, 1804, and then, on the same basis, by the 
imperial decree of September 2, 1817, the Emperor Francis I 
ordained conscription (the conscript system) for nearly 
all the countries united under his rule. 

The chief aim of conscription was the dedication of qual- 
ified individuals to military service. By this enactment 
dwelling-houses were counted and numbered; a survey of 
the population, with its increase and departures, was made; 
a census of the male population was taken and individuals 
were classified; lastly a census was made of the various 
kinds of live stock. Apart from some unimportant changes, 
the census system in the monarchy now remained stationary 
till the fifties of the nineteenth century. 

The efforts of Konferenzrat Baron von Baldacci and of 
Count O'Donnel, president of the exchequer, led Emperor 
Francis to suggest the estabhshment of a statistical depart- 
ment in the exchequer. 

This was done in a document addressed to Prince Kohary, 
vice-president of the exchequer, the duties of the suggested 
department having special reference to agricultural statistics. 
The plan failed, however, owing to the war of the ensuing 
years, and was not taken up again until after the Congress 
of Vienna (1815). A nimiber of private statistical works 
on the whole monarchy or separate parts of it contributed 
essentially to the furtherance of the movement, especially 
those by de Luca, Baron liechtenstern, R. von Cbckelberghe, 
Demian, Schaller, MiiUner, Schwartner, Sartori, Benigniv, 
Mildenberg and others. 

It is remarkable that the initiative was not taken by the 
central authorities, but by the provinces, owing to a scheme 
thoroughly worked out by the Stjo-ian Councillor (Guber- 


nialrat) SchSttl R. von Schinnern. The deliberations which 
now followed within the pale of the Council of State, the 
result of which was influenced considerably by Baron von 
Liechtenstein's indefatigable advocacy, led to the imperial 
decree of February 3, 1819, ordaining the establishment of 
a topographical oflBce of statistics in connection with the 
Council of State, State Councillor Baron von Schwizen 
being the prospective president of the same. However, at 
that time the administration had apparently not made the 
necessary provision for the efficiency of the department, so 
Emperor Francis found himself compelled to repeal his 
decree. In the next ten years we hear but little of govern- 
ment statistics. The progress of statistics in the univer- 
sities and the urgent need of practice made a statistical 
survey of the separate departments of the administration 
more and more desirable. 

Baron von Baldacci, who was then at the head of the 
Directorate General of Accounts (Generalrechnungsdirek- 
torium), succeeded by his efforts in persuading Emperor 
Francis to grant, by an order in Council of April 6, 1829, 
the establishment of a regular administrative statistical 
service, the management of which was entrusted to the 
above-mentioned. He incorporated the Bureau of Sta- 
tistics (created for the necessary work), with the Auditing 
Board of Control (RechnungskontroUbehorde), and assigned 
the accomplishment of the work to Baron von Metzburg, 
vice-president of the Directorate General of Accounts. 

Metzburg succeeded in organizing a regular annual report 
of the government departments concerned, which was com- 
piled in a tabular form in the Tables of Statistics. These 
Tables, which included the year 1828 in the first set, were 
the authoritative Austrian statistics until 1865. At first 
they were kept strictly secret and reserved exclusively for 
government purposes, but by degrees they were made acces- 
sible to larger circles. Baron von Metzburg, the author of 
the. Tables, intended to add a scientific appendix, and for 
his purpose he wrote a Manual of Statistics for the year 


1830, which, however, he was not allowed to publish. Full 
publicity did not come until it was brought about by the 
storms of 1848. 

It was not long before the administrative statistical serv- 
ice was found insufficient to do justice to the continually 
increasing demands on the government statistics. After 
Metzburg's death. Baron von Kiibeck, then president of 
the Directorate General of Accounts, strove to mould the 
department into a suitable form. 

Owing to his influence the Emperor Ferdinand I issued 
an imperial decree on March 31, 1840, creating a special 
office with a permanent staff. This office was directly sub- 
ordinate to the chair of the Directorate General of Accounts, 
and its duty was to collect, investigate and compile statis- 
tical data. After it had been temporarily managed by 
R. V. Lucan, councillor of finance, and Hopfgartner, sec- 
retary to the court, Karl Czoernig became head of the board. 
Czoernig's professional education, great knowledge and 
indefatigable energy enabled him to create a new era in the 
history of government statistics in the monarchy. 

He paved the way for a regular scientific treatment of 
figures, and he not only turned to account the data from 
official sources, but also worked out a system of control by 
which private estimates could be made use of for the pur- 
poses of government statistics. 

The census system became general by the law of March 
23, 1857. By this law the census was considered exclu- 
sively as the object of political administrative activity; a 
definite term day was fixed, but only the native population 
was to be included in the census. The results of the census 
were published in the Statistical Survey of Population and 
Live Stock, According to the Census of October 31, 1857. 
This was published by the Home Department. 

Czoernig's work was of especial importance for the better 
understanding of ethnographic and industrial conditions in 
the monarchy. His efforts to interest larger circles in the 
results of government statistics ought also to be emphasized. 


A small Manual of Statistics was published for daily use 
only. The Intelligence of the Department of Statistics was 
established as an organ of larger extent. 

77. The Organization of the Central Statistical Commission 

In spite of all the success that had been achieved, the 
lack of internal organization in government statistics was 
being felt more and more, as was also the need of a proper 
combination with science. New bases for the constitution 
and administration of the monarchy were created by the 
October Patent (1860) and the February Patent (1861). 
At this time the direction of government statistics was in 
the hands of the Head Auditing OflSce (Oberste Rechnungs- 
controUbehorde), after being temporarily administered by 
the Board of Trade. 

Count Mercandin, as president of the auditing office, now 
took preparatory steps to follow the example of foreign coun- 
tries by creating a Central Statistical Commission for the 
monarchy. The statutes for the new institution were 
worked out very carefully, and they received imperial ratifi- 
cation by the decree of January 31, 1863. The monarchy 
was the twelfth state to establish a Central Statistical Com- 

The statutes provided that the Central Commission should 
furnish the central departments of the administration with 
the necessary information regarding conditions at home and 
abroad. This information was to be given in as concise and 
complete a form as possible. It thus behooves the Com- 
mission to execute orders from headquarters, to give advice 
on questions submitted to it, and to strive in every way to 
bring about united cobperation between the various depart- 
ments of the government and the statistical department. 
The Central Commission has, furthermore, to draw up and 
carry out the plan for government statistics for the whole 
empire. In order to do this it must consider formularies for 
ascertaining statistical data and must determine these in 
agreement with the respective central departments; it must 


collect and examine the statistical materials for all depart- 
ments that have been gained on this basis or otherwise 
procured by the central departments; it must direct the 
compilation and publication of these materials. 

The Central Commission consists of the following mem- 
bers: the President, one representative of each office of the 
central government (including the head auditing office), 
the secretary and the clerk. Men who have distinguished 
themselves in science or political economy may become 
honorary members of the commission. 

The imperial decree of December 22, 1870, granted the 
Commission the right to appoint corresponding members, 
provided that their election be approved by the minister 
of public worship and instruction. 

The Emperor reserves the right of appointing the Presi- 
dent; the representatives of the central departments (and 
their substitutes) are appointed by the chiefs of the respect- 
ive departments, while the honorary members are appointed 
by the minister of pubhc worship and instruction, upon 
presentation by the Central Commission. 

The Central Commission appoints the secretary and clerk 
from the staff of the Bureau of the I. R. Central Statistical 
Commission. The Central Commission is empowered to call 
in professional men to their deKberations or to ask their 
advice. The regular meetings of the Commission are held 
once a month; the President may call special meetings. 

The central departments of the government are kept in- 
formed orally by suitable representatives, instructions are 
given on one hand and abstracts of the minutes on the other; 
but on more important occasions both instructions and 
reports are given by correspondence. Representatives of 
the central departments must give the President notice of 
matters on which the departments desire the Commission's 
advice; the President will then bring them forward for dis- 
cussion by adoption in the order of the day. 

The Commission was incorporated with the Board of 
Trade for a short time, but, by the imperial decree of August 


28, 1870, it became subordinate to the Board of Public 
Worship and Instruction. This was done in view of the fact 
that, owing to its composition and its sphere of activity, 
the Commission was well adapted to solve problems, and 
therefore should be under this department, just as the 
government institutions of art and science were. The com- 
bination that was created in this way had proved its effi- 
ciency and offers the best guarantee for continuous progress 
in the scientific work of the Central Commission. 

The board of directors of government statistics continued 
to be the executive organ of the Commission until 1884, 
when it was abolished and replaced by the Bureau, this 
being directly subordinate to the President of the Central 

According to the procedure laid down by the statutes 
(which still subsist, and rightly so), the business of the 
Central Statistical Commission is managed by the President 
and his bureau, by the whole body of members, and by 
special committees. 

The President presides at the general meetings, opens and 
closes them and conducts the discussions and voting. 

He appoints the special committees and has a vote in each; 
he despatches x^gent or less important documents himself 
and assigns the others to individual members or commit- 
tees; these committees may be already in existence or may 
be formed for the purpose. 

The President represents the Commission outside; he 
therefore signs all documents issued by it with the exception 
of reports and abstracts of the minutes. He must always 
be well informed with regard to the work of the Bureau of 
the Central Statistical Commission and of its individual 
officers; he has to provide the books and cards required for 
the work of the Central Statistical Commission and for the 
library of the Bureau of the Central Commission; the ex- 
penditure for these must be in the fixed appropriation. The 
President also negotiates the exchange of pubUcations with 
foreign bureaus of statistics. In case of his absence, the 


President is represented by the regular member of the Com- 
mission next in rank. The secretary formulates the resolu- 
tions of the Central Commission, attends to the correspond- 
ence under the President's supervision, superintends the 
conduct of legal business — which is attended to by the staff 
of the Bureau of the Central Commission — ^he invites mem- 
bers of the general assembly and of special committees to 
their sessions by informing them, in due time, of the order 
of the day arranged by the President; he superintends the 
preparation of the minutes and composes the abstracts of 
the same, which are intended for pubUcation in the official 
gazette of Vienna. 

The clerk prepares the minutes under the secretary's 
supervision and assists the latter in his other duties. 

A majority of representatives of the central departments 
constitutes a quorum in the general assembly. Every mem- 
ber is free to make a motion; he may also bring forward 
subjects for discussion which are not in the order of the day, 
this being done by putting questions to the President. 
However, no debate takes place on the answer given, unless 
it be a case of recognized urgency. As a rule the debate is 
not based on a resolution itself, but rather on the report that 
is to be made concerning it. An absolute majority of the 
members present is generally considered decisive. The 
President only gives a casting vote whenever the votes are 
equal on both sides. When the subject under discussion 
belongs to the jurisdiction of a department, no motion may 
be made on it in the absence of the proper representative; 
if the representative be present, but in the minority, he has 
the right to consult his chief once more, without whose 
consent the resolution in question cannot take effect. The 
assembly determines the manner and extent of the Bureau's 
work and gives instructions with regard to it. It has author- 
ity to estimate the number of officials required for the work 
and to procure whatever materials may be needed for it. 

Special committees are formed from the general assembly 
for the elaboration of extensive subjects or to give an 


on various matters; these committees may call in profes- 
sional men to their deliberations. 

Three members of a special committee are sufficient for a 
quorum, provided that at least one of these be also a mem- 
ber of the general assembly. Each special committee 
chooses a reporter from its own number, who has to present 
the resolutions of the committee to the general assembly. 

Honorary and corresponding members are proposed by 
ballot which must give a majority of at least two thirds of 
those voting. 

Every regular and honorary member of the Commission 
is entitled to propose corresponding members, and the num- 
ber of corresponding members is unUmited. 

The corresponding members are expected to advance the 
interests of statistics and to give advice when called upon 
to do so; as far as circumstances permit they are also required 
to collect and compile statistical data or to stimulate and 
negotiate such work; lastly, they are required to take part 
in any deliberations to which they may be invited. Corre- 
sponding members are allowed the use of the hbrary and the 
documents of the Central Commission besides twenty five 
copies of their own works, published by the Commission. 

Apart from the President's office, the hbrary, the office 
of the Smithsonian Institute and the pubUshing office 
(Expedite), the present organization of the Bureau is divided 
into the following eight departments: 

Dept. I. International statistics. 
Agricultural statistics. 

Editorial staff of the Austrian Manual of 
Statistics, the Statistical Monthly, and the 
Statistical Intelligence. 

Dept. II. The Census, statistics of the changes of popu- 
lation, office of topographical statistics. 

Dept. III. Agrarian statistics. 

Dept. IV. Statistics of organizations, associations, banks, 
savings banks, and trade. 


Dept. V. Statistics of finance, and of the autonomous 

administration . 
Dept. VI. Judicial statistics. 
Dept. VII. Religious and educational statistics. 
Dept. Vni. Health and foreign trade statistics. 

III. The Development of the Central Statistical Commission 

It was a great advantage to the Central Statistical Com- 
mission to have Charles, Baron von Czoernig, as its first 
president (1863-1865). 

The Commission owes its stability and the great results 
attained during the very first years of its existence to 
Czoernig's personality and reputation. 

Czoernig continued at first to publish the Tables of 
Statistics, and besides these he published complete govern- 
ment statistics in a condensed form in the Statistical Annual. 
After the abolition of the Tables in 1865, the Annual may 
be considered authoritative. In order to familiarize govern- 
ment officials with the peculiarities of the statistical service 
and to educate them to be reliable collaborators, he estab- 
lished practical courses, which were given by professional 
men in the offices of the Commission during the winter term 
of the years 1864 to 1868. Czoernig was obliged to leave 
the service owing to a serious illness brought on by over- 

His place as head of the office was taken by Glanz Ritter 
von Eicha, councillor of state, who was next in rank in the 
Commission, and who held the position for nearly five years 
(1865-1870). We owe the law of March 29, 1869, to his 
tireless energy. By this law the Austrian census system 
was put on a thoroughly modern footing, and it is still in 

The law assigned the taking of the census to the Home 
Department, but the comparison of the sum total for the 
various countries and the whole monarchy, as well as the 
compilation for administrative and scientific purposes, was 
reserved for the Central Commission. 


The primary collection of data and the compilation of 
the same by townships, parishes and districts, were to be 
undertaken in a decentralized manner. The actual popula- 
tion was to be ascertained. December 31 was fixed as term- 
day. The vocational section and residential conditions were 
only taken in outUne. An enumeration of physical infirm- 
ities and of domestic animals was included in the census. 
It was now enacted that the census should be taken at the 
end of every year ending with "0." 

The later development of the system shows remarkable 
progress. In 1880 new data were added to the census, 
recording extra earnings, the colloquial language, the knowl- 
edge of reading and writing, and the number of mentally 
deficient persons (lunatics and idiots). 

The Census of 1890 shows a considerable extension of 
vocational statistics as well as an extensive record of land 
and house property and Uving conditions. The first esti- 
mates for household and family statistics were obtained by 
inquiries into the composition of the households in each 
dwelling. The figures were worked out by an electric adding 

The Census of 1900 was distinguished by a comprehensive 
survey of dwellings, more or less extensive according to the 
size of the places. A census of the unemployed was also 
taken in connection with this. 

The Census of 1900 made it possible to have a general 
vocational section, in which the relation to the chief vocation 
was included, not only for the day on which the census was 
taken, but also for the end of 1907. By this means valuable 
materials were obtained for judging of the social conditions 
arising from a change of calling. There was also a new 
record made with reference to those practising an extra 
calling, either simultaneofusly or alternately with their chief 

The statistical survey of houses was extended still 

The following figures, showing the expenditure of the 


Commission from decade to decade, will give an idea of the 
increased work of the census : 

1869 crowns 39 .408 

1880 crowns 51.876 

1890 crowns 617.085 

1900 crowns 794.205 

1910 crowns 1,143.000 

At the busiest time of the work of the census, the Central 
Commission employs 5 draughtsmen, 8 computing ofl5- 
cials, 3 permanent and 380 extra assistants, and lastly 12 
occasional assistants. Ten adding machines are used, which 
are worked by electricity, also 200 punching machines, 
worked by haoid, for punching the cards. 

The first of the above-mentioned censuses was published 
in the Austrian Census of December 31, 1869. Reports 
from those following are given in Austrian Statistics. Since 
1890 the preliminary results have also been published as 
quickly as possible. 

A Complete Topographical Register of the Kingdoms and 
Provinces represented in the Imperial Senate, according to 
the Census of December 31, 1880, was published, giving a 
complete record of the political divisions of the state terri- 
tory, and a classification of parishes and townships. This 
work was continued under the same title in connection with 
the Census of 1890; in 1900 it appeared as the General 
Topographical Directory, in 1910 as a General Directory 
of Townships and Parishes. 

The Special Register for the Kingdoms and Provinces 
represented in the Imperial Senate was published after the 
Census of 1880. It consisted of 13 volumes and comprised 
all the imperial dominions except Dalmatia. It is indis- 
pensable as a guide for all practical purposes of public and 
private administration and is also invaluable to the geog- 
rapher, philologer and historian. 

In connection with the Census of 1900 a Municipal Lexicon 
was published for each of the 14 Austrian dominions; this 


was on a much broader basis than the Special Register. 
It contains a record of the various institutions provided 
for in each community, employing the usual abbreviations; 
it also records the registered and taxable municipalities 
of each revenue district separately. 

This work was found too costly, and an improved Special 
Register was again published after the Census of 1910. 

During the time that the department was under Glanz' 
management, statistics of organizations were collected, and 
a detailed census of the public schools were taken. The 
school census was repeated every 5 years until 1885, and 
thenceforth every 10 years; it was published independently 
in 1870, 1873 and 1876. The following censuses appeared 
in the authoritative publications. An independent publica- 
tion was also issued for the years 1890 and 1900, which was 
called Plans for National and City Schools. Since 1900 
the public school census has been discontinued. After 
Glanz' retirement, the management of the department was 
continually changing at short intervals. 

First of all Baron Louis von HohenbUhel, councillor of 
public instruction, was appointed president (1870-1872). 
After him the management was undertaken by Franz Ritter 
von Astrenberg, councillor in the defence department, then 
it passed into the hands of Dr. Adolf Ficker, councillor of 
public worship and instruction. 

Ficker had been splendidly prepared for the work by his 
long years of service on the board of directors of govern- 
ment statistics. We owe to him the establishment of the 
scientific periodical, The Monthly Journal of Statistics, 
which took the place of the Intelligence in 1875. 

The readjustment of political relations with Hungary 
limited the jurisdiction of the Central Commission (1867). 
Ficker succeeded in publishing an official manual of the 
Austro-Hungarian monarchy, in which he was assisted by 
Councillor Karl Keleti, director of the Hungarian Provincial 
Office of Statistics. This manual comprised the period 


from 1867 to 1876; it was continued, under Inama, for the 
decade 1877-1886. 

Among the larger separate official pubUcations which did 
not appear in the above-mentioned periodicals were the 
following: Statistics of Judaism, by G. A. Schimmer; The 
Compilation of the Periodical Press, by J. Winckler; Period- 
ical Health Statistics for 1873 to 1879; Statistical Refer- 
ences on the Rate of Interest on Mortgages for 1879. A 
process of disintegration unfortunately began in Picker's 
time. The central departments now found it necessary to 
have their statistics procured under their own supervision; 
this led to the organization of sections of statistics, whose 
sphere of activity was gradually extended by taking over 
some of the work formerly done by the Central Commission. 

After Picker's death in 1880, Schonwald von Bingenheim, 
head of the Supreme Court of Finance (Oberster Rechnungs- 
hof), became director of the office, and two years later 
Councillor Lorenz von Liburnau of the department of 
agriculture. The latter deserves special credit for intro- 
ducing statistics of harvests and cultivation. In the year 
1881, Charles Theodore von Inama-Sternegg, professor of 
political economy at Prague University, became director of 
government statistics, and three years later he was appointed 
President (the fourth) of the Central Commission. This 
distinguished man not only possessed remarkable profes- 
sional ability, but he was also gifted with an abundance of 
youthful energy, and his appointment marks the beginning 
of a new and brilliant era in the history of Austrian govern- 
ment statistics. As a scholar and a statesman, a teacher 
and a leader in movements for the welfare of humanity, 
his influence bore rich fruit in many directions. 

The intellectual and personal relations he had won in his 
large sphere of activity were of the greatest value to the 
dignity and position of the office which he directed for nearly 
a quarter of a century. During this time the department 
itself reaped with him the results of his extensive and suc- 
cessful hfe work. Inama changed the board of directors 


of government statistics into a bureau of the Central' Gd^- 
mission; in doing so he created the preliminary condition 
that was indispensable for the accomplishment of unified 
work with a definite aim. Then he went to work on the 
extension of government statistics. Nearly every branch 
of government statistics bears the stamp of his reforms, 
and he opened up countless fields of scientific research by 
his indefatigable energy. 

He paid especial attention to statistics of population and 
agriculture. He also brought about the inclusion of trade, 
dwelling, family and household statistics in the census and 
the central revision of these by means of an electrical adding 
machine; he created statistics of foreign trade, and improved 
emigration statistics. Under his direction the first — ^and so 
far the only — ^agricultm-al and industrial census was taken 
in 1902; this was published in the Austrian Statistics. 
Inama had data on agricultural wages collected, and created 
statistics of landed property, etc. 

These Austrian Statistics now replaced the Manual of 
Statistics as the authoritative Austrian statistics. They 
present the separate branches of government statistics in 
their natural sequence, compiled analytically and numeric- 
ally according to the subject matter. A condensed, purely 
tabular survey of the collective government statistics is also 
given now in the Austrian Manual of Statistics which ap- 
pears annually. 

At the instigation and with the assistance of the depart- 
ment of agriculture the Information about the Whole 
Domain of Agriculture was established for agricultural pur- 
poses. At first this was a weekly publication, but it now 
appears monthly. Fuller details will be given later of the 
organization for the cooperation of the body politic with self- 
governing bodies in statistical matters. This resulted from 
Inama's efforts and led to the publication of the Statistical 
Manual of the Autonomous Provinces (yearly) and the 
Austrian Municipal Register (every two years). 

The Manual of Associations (1892) should be mentioned 


among the independent publications of Inama's time. He 
contrived to combine his official position with his academic 
duties in a way that was invaluable to the department. 
Most of the colleagues whom he needed to carry out his 
great reforms were obtained from his seminar. 

Inama was succeeded by his colleague Francis Ritter von 
Juraschek. Under him considerable progress was made in 
statistics of population, agricultural, and electoral statistics 
(for which the calling of qualified electors was investigated). 

In connection with agricultural statistics the work, Grain 
in International Commerce, was published, largely with 
Juraschek's collaboration. By order of the Public Works 
Department a census was taken of tenement houses (gemein- 
nuzige Kleinwohnungsanlagen), which was published in 1910. 
In Juraschek's time the preliminary steps were taken for a 
census of the institutions and organizations for the protec- 
tion and care of young people and children; this was pub- 
lished in a Register for Lower and Upper Austria, Salzburg 
and Styria, in the year 1913. 

Juraschek sought to popularize statistics by means of the 
Statistical Intelligence, which gave a synopsis of the most 
recent statistical data twice monthly. 

This energetic man died suddenly in the midst of his 
labors on the Census of 1910. Then Councillor Charles 
Eisler Ritter von Eiserhort directed the department for a 
while, after which Dr. Robert Meyer took charge of it. 

Dr. Meyer was head of the I. R. Department of Finance 
and honorary professor of political economy at Vienna Uni- 
versity, and had been a regular member of the Central 
Commission since 1897, having represented the Department 
of Finance. 

Meyer at once took in hand the preparation of the Census 
of 1910, but shortly after its completion he was called away 
from this sphere of activity to the Crown Council (Rat der 
Krone) ia order to become Minister of Finance. 

One of Inama's pupils. Dr. Ernest Mischler, professor of 
statistics and administrative law at Gratz University, was 


appointed as Meyer's successor. He first of all took hold 
of the compilation of the census, then turned his attention 
to the reform and reconstruction of official publications. 
Mischler's aim was to render the pubKcation of the Austrian 
Statistics and other statistical works as expeditious as 

The new Publikationstype was turned to good account in 
the Manual of Austrian Legal Statistics and the Live- 
stock Lexicon, which deals with the live-stock census of 
the year 1910. He now made good use of the executive 
ability, which had been proved in his previous position, for 
the benefit of the Central Commission. One of the impor- 
tant acts of his administration of the office was to create a 
special department to take charge of agricultural statistics. 
Mischler died suddenly after holding the office for two years; 
thus many of his plans of reform were left unaccomplished. 

In February, 1913, Dr. Robert Meyer, in compliance with 
the wish of the government, became President of the Central 
Commission for the second time. 

IV. The Statistical Offices of the Central Departments 

As has already been mentioned, the Central Statistical 
Commission is not the only producer of government sta- 

The separate departments of the government manage 
their own statistical work in various degrees. Li most of 
the central departments there is a special office for dealing 
with statistical memoranda. 

In the Board of Trade a separate office was created as 
far back as 1872. This office took charge of the industrial, 
commercial and foreign statistics, which were published in 
the Statements of Austria's Trade. This publication was 
originally started by the Board of Government Statistics, 
and was then carried on by the Central Statistical Com- 

The Central Commission made a special publication of the 
Review of Imports and Exports for the years 1863 to 1870. 


The provisional results were published in the Austria, a 
periodical which was first issued by the Board of Trade in 
1849 as a daily paper; in 1856 it was changed to a weekly, 
and in 1883 to a monthly. The Austria was the archives 
of regulations and statistics in the Departments of Industry, 
Trade and Navigation; but in 1901 it was merged in the 
Archives of Austrian Political Economy. These in turn 
were replaced by the Zollkompass, which appeared in 1910 
and in which the commercial conditions of the various states 
are dealt vdth in turn. 

In 1877 The Permanent Commission on Commercial 
Values was founded on the model of the French Commis- 
sion Permanente des Valeurs. It is the business of this 
commission to determine yearly, by valuation, the average 
commercial value of the imports and exports for the past 
year. In 1890 the statistics of foreign trade were thoroughly 
reformed and the whole matter passed into the hands of the 
statistical department of the Board of Trade. The latter 
now publishes the statistics of foreign trade annually in the 
Statistics of Foreign Trade for the District included in the 
Customs Union (VertragszoUgebiet) of both states of the 
Austro-Hungarian monarchy. This is a very detailed and 
comprehensive work, consisting of four large volumes deal- 
ing with: a. Special Trade; b. Freight and Transit Trade; 
c. Trade with the Separate Countries of Departure and 
Destination; d. Ocean and Harbor Trade. 

Monthly statistical reports also appear in the Statistical 
Review of Foreign Trade for the District included in the 
Customs Union, etc. 

Since 1900 the statistics have been published annually 
under the title of Statistics of Interstate Trade between 
the Kingdoms and Provinces represented in the Imperial 
Senate and the Provinces of the Holy Hungarian Crown. 
Monthly statements are also published in the Monthly 
Reference of Interstate Trade. 

The first volume of the annual publication gives a detailed 
historical report of the whole district. In 1901 a Perma- 


nent Commission on Interstate Trade (analogous to the 
other permanent commission founded in 1877) was estab- 
lished for the purpose of estimating the amount of trade 
for interstate trade statistics. 

The Oflfice of Statistics for Foreign and Interstate Trade 
in the Board of Trade is at present under the management 
of Aulic Councillor Demel Hitter von Elswehr. In con- 
nection with this oflfice an annual publication has been issued 
since 1901, entitled Foreign and Interstate Trade of the 
Kingdoms and Provinces represented in the Imperial Senate 
and the Provinces of the Holy Hungarian Crown. This 
periodical shows Austria's and Hungary's share of the foreign 
trade separately, and the total trade of each. This is done 
by a comparison of the Foreign Trade Statistics of the 
Customs Union, the Interstate Trade Statistics, and the 
Hungarian Statistics of Foreign Trade. This oflfice has also 
begun to publish periodically instructions for the composi- 
tion and compilation of data for the purposes of trade 
statistics in Bases of Statistics of Foreign Trade. 

Two Outlines of Comparative Statistics for a Series of Years 
were published for the years 1903 to 1907 and 1905 to 1909. 

The Statistics of Navigation and Maritime Trade in Aus- 
trian Harbors is published annually by order of the Board 
of Trade on the basis of official data from the Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry of Trieste. Pertinent data are also 
published by the Marine Board in the Navigazione Austro- 
Ungarica all'Estero and in the Annuario Marittimo. 

In 1898 an office for labor statistics was installed in the 
Board of Trade, whose task it was to collect and compile 
labor statistics for the purpose of economical and social 
legislation and administration, and also to publish them 
periodically. These data were to have "special reference to 
the condition of the working classes, particularly in agri- 
cultural pursuits; and to the efficiency of the rules and regu- 
lations for the furtherance of the welfare of the working 
classes," The department was also to give corresponding 
attention to the "extent and condition of production." 


The department is directly subordinate to the Board of 
Trade, but has the greatest possible liberty in its own special 
sphere of activity. It has been provided with an advisory 
board to assist it in the preparation of statistics; this board 
consists of professional men, representatives of employers 
and employes and of the central departments concerned. 
Whoever may be President of the Central Commission is a 
permanent member of this consulting body. 

"Sektionschef" Mataja is the head of the Labor Sta- 
tistics Office. The office publishes annual reports on : labor 
strikes and lock-outs; hours of labor in factories; labor 
arbitration; labor and wage-agreements, etc. Since 1900 
this department has also published the monthly "Soziale 
Rundschau" (Social Review), which gives as complete as 
possible a survey of all measures and conditions of impor- 
tance in the realm of social service at home and abroad. For 
the assistance of this branch of the service a "Sozialpoli- 
tisches Archiv" was established in the Labor Statistics 
Office in 1910. A large number of monographs were com- 
piled by order of this office, deahng with special labor prob- 
lems within the limits of certain industries and localities. 

Most of these monographs were collected in the Commu- 
nications of the Department of Labor Statistics, which 
appeared from time to time. Li 1910 a special department 
was established for industrial statistics (in connection with 
the Labor Statistics Office), which soon published a Reg- 
ister of Industrial Associations and their Unions. Since 
August, 1912, the Board of Trade and Agriculture, also the 
Central Statistical Commission, have published a weekly 
Price List, which quotes the wholesale prices of the most im- 
portant raw materials on the largest exchanges at home and 
abroad; it also contains reports of the trade in the Vienna 
stock-yards, and the prices of cattle and meat in Vienna. 
The Price List is also the organ for the regular reports on 
city prices of provisions. 

Since 1862 the Board of Trade has compiled post and 
telegraph statistics. The two numbers The Austrian Post 


and Telegraph System, 1868 and 1869, were followed by 
the regular publications in the Industrial and Commercial 
News for the years 1870-1903. Since 1904 postal and tele- 
graphic statistics have been published independently by the 
Board of Trade in quarto volumes under the title Statistics 
of the Austrian Post and Telegraph System. 

The progressive development of the post and telegraph 
system led to a further extension of these statistics by the 
inclusion of the telephone system (1887) and the sum total 
of the post oflSce savings banks (1903). Detailed statistics 
of the latter have been published in their own annual state- 
ments since 1882. The economic importance of the postal 
savings banks is illustrated by their annual Statement of 
Business and Accounts. 

The Chambers of Commerce and Industry also perform 
some of the tasks of a statistical department, that come 
within the scope of their organization. They conduct a 
register of the industries under their jurisdiction, which is 
kept thoroughly up to date, by means of the statements of 
the Treasury Board and "An-und Abmeldungen." 

The reports, published upon instructions from the cham- 
bers by the Board of Trade, are of great value in assisting to 
recognize dislocations in the structure of industrial work- 
shops (Produktionsstatten). 

Another important branch of statistics undertaken by the 
chambers is that of industrial production. 

In 1873 the Board of Agriculture created a department of 
Statistics of Agriculture, Forestry and Mines. This board 
publishes the Manual of the Board of Agriculture, which 
gives data on all subjects pertaining to the department. 
Since that time the Forests of the Public and Landed Prop- 
erty under the Jurisdiction of the I. R. Board of Agriculture 
appeared (1885), and in 1907, as a continuation of this pub- 
lication, the Manual of Public and Landed Property was 
published. During the years 1906 to 1911 statistics of 
peat-bogs were collected for Lower and Upper Austria, 
Styria, Carinthia, Camivola, the Tyrol and Moravia. 


These were published in 1911 as an Information about 
Peat-bogs for the above-mentioned countries, and they 
went further than the periodical report that came into being 
in 1901. 

The Board of Agriculture has also compiled statistics of 
the dams in mountain streams (Wildbachverbauimgen) for 
the years 1883-1894, which were published separately. 

In 1902 the Board of Agriculture published Dairy Com- 
panies and other Enterprises for the Utilization of Dairy 
Products; this furnished extensive statistics on the milk 
trade, and in 1911 it was turned into the Yearly Report on 
the Condition of the Milk Trade. The Board of Agricul- 
ture publishes annual reports on the Spread of Phylloxera. 
The Statistics of the Schools of Forestry and Agriculture are 
published in the Gazette of Forestry and Agriculture. 

The Home Department takes charge of the insurance 
statistics. No oflScial statistics were compiled until the 
eighties. At that time laws were enacted providing for 
compulsory insurance against accident and sickness (for 
workmen), and the government was obliged to procure the 
bases necessary for this branch of government provision for 
the working classes; it also became incumbent upon the 
government to supervise the autonomous institutions for 
workmen's insurance. The control of private insurance 
companies also required that there should be a special de- 
partment for this branch of government statistics. The 
section possessing the most technical knowledge was placed 
in charge of it, viz.: the technical insurance office of the 
Home Department. This office publishes several state- 
ments every year which are based on reports from the gov- 
ernment departments and the insurance companies, and 
these statements are brought before the senate. The mat- 
ters chiefly considered in these statements are: The sum 
total and general results of accident and health insurance, 
and a report of the registered insurance companies. A 
statement of the private insurance companies is also pub- 


Reports on mine insurance companies were first compiled 
in the Workmen's Insurance Department of the Home 

Besides furnishing these reports to the Senate, the depart- 
ment also compiles these statistics separately and publishes 
them periodically; up to the present time three such works 
have appeared, for the following periods: 1890-1896; 1897- 
1901; 1902-1906. 

Health statistics are published annually by the Health 
Insurance Offices (Offices for Insurance against Sickness); 
these are compiled according to the age and calling of those 
insured. Such statistics were published for the year 1890 
and for the five years 1891 to 1896. 

In 1898 a publication was issued on The Conditions of 
Private Employes for the year 1896, and constituted the 
statistical basis on which the Pension Law of 1906 was 
founded. The results of the insurances brought about by 
this law have been reported by the Pension Office and the 
Institutions for Compensation. A uniform official com- 
pilation is being prepared. 

The report on privalte insurance was published in detail 
during the first decade of these statistics. This was pub- 
lished with a synthetic text. Since 1908 complete statistics 
are being compiled only every five years, and the last was 
in 1912. During the intervals the statistics are published 
in an abridged form without an accompanying text. 

The Board of Health of the Home Department publishes 
The Austrian Health Department, a weekly paper, which 
furnishes valuable materials for health statistics. 

Railway statistics were originally compiled and pub- 
lished by the Central Statistical Commission; they appeared 
in the work. The Railways of the Austro-Hungarian Mon- 
archy and their Traffic in 1868 — which also appeared for the 
following year. Upon the inauguration of a statistical 
department in the Board of Trade, the railway statistics 
were transferred to it (1870). Railway statistics were 
now published under the title Statistical Record of the 


Austro-Hungarian Railways. From 1879 on, the combined 
statistics of the Austro-Hungarian railways were published 
by the boards of both countries in the German and Hun- 
garian languages, so that the Statistical Record now ap- 
peared in both languages; it was published regularly till 

In 1885 international railway statistics were published by 
the Board of Trade under the title of European Railway 
Statistics for the Year 1882. In 1896 the statistical office 
of the recently organized Railway Department took over 
this branch of the work, and published the Sum Total of 
Austrian Railway Statisticsf or each of the years 1895, 1896 
and 1897 separately. From 1898 to 1902 this office pubhshed 
Statistics of the Locomotive Railways in Operation in the 
Elingdoms and Provinces Represented in the Imperial Senate. 

Besides this, special Statistics of the Electric Railways, 
Cable-roads, and Horse-tramways in Austria were pub- 
lished for each year from 1898 to 1902. Since 1903 these 
two publications have been replaced by the Austrian Rail- 
way Statistics, which appear annually in two parts. The 
first comprises Statistics of Trunk and Local Railways, 
and the second those of Short Lines and Truck-roads. 

The Department of Railways has also published the fol- 
lowing: Austrian Railways of Minor Importance (1908); 
Financial Proceeds of Lines operated by the Government 
on Account of their Owners in the years 1897 to 1906; The 
Vienna City Railway from its Inauguration in 1898 to 
1908 (published in 1909); The Austrian Government Rail- 
ways from the Establishment of the Railway Department 
in 1896 to 1908; lastly Austrian Government Railways dur- 
ing the Years 1901-1910 (pubhshed in 1912). 

The various departments of the Treasury Board have 
evolved a number of new spheres of activity since this cen- 
tral department was established. The Treasury Board 
was much stimulated in the work of financial statistics by 
the great reforms made in the administration of finance and 
taxation. Very careful preparation was now required, 


which could only be obtained by a thorough study of the 
development of the various departments of finance. For 
instance, one needed a knowledge of the direct and indirect 
taxation of the fifties; of the reports on indirect taxes which 
were levied before the "Quotendeputationen"; of the sub- 
ject-matter of bills dealing with duties on spirits, beer and 
sugar; of the general taxation laws, etc., — lastly a knowl- 
edge was required of the tables of statistics which were used 
in framing the reform of direct taxation in 1874. More 
recent works to be studied were: The Report on the Re- 
sults of the Regulation of the Ground-tax (1884); Results 
of the Revision of the Land Register, by Virtue of the Law 
of June 12, 1896; Subjects under Discussion and Reports 
on them, for the Reform of Direct Personal Taxation; Tables 
of Statistics on the Problem of the Fixed Standard for the 
Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (1892) (which were continued 
in the Tables of Statistics on the Fixed Standard) ; the ma- 
terials for a probate bill; the detailed reports for the draft 
on the reform of taxes on buildings (1908), the Statistics of 
Dwellings Taxable on the House-rent, according to condi- 
tions in 1908 (published in 1909); Statistics of the Law 
for Laborers' Dwellings (1902); and others. Income tax 
statistics were published repeatedly. 

The Treasury Board compiled very valuable materials 
almost exclusively for administrative purposes, and these 
were made public only in part in the Austria, a periodical 
published by the Board of Trade. In order that these mate- 
rials might be accessible to a larger circle the Gazette of the 
I. R. Treasury Board was established in 1894, which appears 
in annual sets. The Gazette contains detailed and almost 
complete statistics of direct and indirect taxes and duties, 
including stamp duties, and the branches of revenue related 
thereto. This gives an insight into the total burden of the 
population by computing the assessments and additional 
payments of the provinces. Of late years the indebtedness 
of the provincial treasuries is also included in the report. 
The commercial and industrial conditions in our govern- 


ment enterprises, especially the government monopolies, 
furnish interesting material for Statistics of Production 
(Produktionsstatistik), By means of them, statistics of 
health, accidents, and dwellings may be classified according 
to the various categories of labor. Finance and credit in 
this half of the empire and the technicalities of the budget 
are dealt with in the Gazette, which also treats very thor- 
oughly of the Austrian tobacco and salt monopolies. The 
income tax has been considered in the columns of the 
Gazette, partly in serial and partly in single articles. The 
article by Baron Drotlefif von Friedenfels on The Amoimt 
of Income according to Sex and Calling of those Assessed 
deserves special mention. 

A detailed report on the subject also appeared in two of 
the Treasury Department's pubhcations, viz. : Materials for 
Income Tax Statistics for 1898 and Compiled Assessments 
for the Income Tax for 1903, Arranged According to the 
Calling of those Assessed. In the last annual set appeared 
Statistics of the Movement of Individuals liable to Income 
Tax, and the Amount of their Income for the Years 1906- 
1908. The results of government monopolies are issued 
periodically in special publications. 

Since 1894 we have The Tables of Statistics on the Aus- 
trian Tobacco Monopoly; The Statistical Information about 
the Austrian Tobacco Monopoly (published by the Board 
of the Tobacco Trust) ; and since 1901 Departmental Infor- 
mation about the Austrian Tobacco Trust. The output of 
salt for 1898-1902 was dealt with in The Salt Works of Aus- 
tria, and since 1903 in the Information about the Austrian 
Salt Monopoly. Since 1905 reports on the social and indus- 
trial conditions in the alpine salt works have been published 
by the Treasury Board in Linz. 

In connection with the inquiry into the Solvency of the 
Provincial Finances in 1908, a wealth of material was placed 
at the disposal of the experts by the Treasury in the publi- 
cation Finances of the Kingdoms and Provinces represented 


in the Imperial Senate, According to Assessment for the 
Year 1905. 

Originally the national debt was computed by comparing 
the statements of the Board of Directors of the National 
Debt with the reports of the Commission on the National 
Debt, but since 1862 it has been done by the annual reports of 
the Auditing Commission of the National Debt in the Senate. 

In conclusion, we must remember the Public Works De- 
partment. The compilation of all mining statistics (with 
the exception of the Bruderladen, which are dealt with in 
the Home Department) was transferred from the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture to the Public Works Department in 
1908. This department, while retaining the mode of 
publicity previously in vogue, also arranges the materials 
on a broader basis in a journal called Mining Statistics in 
Austria, which appears as a supplement to the Manual of 
the Department of Agriculture. The police reports on mines 
are published in The Inspection of Mines in Austria. Lat- 
terly the Public Works Department has also been publishing 
a supplement in the Mining Manual. 

The Board of Water Supply in the Home Department 
has introduced a systematic count and listing of the national 
supplies of water power, the results of which have been 
published continuously since 1909 in the Austrian Water 

The Journal of Industrial Education is also edited by the 
Public Works Department; this journal publishes period- 
ically the statistics of industrial schools compiled by the 
Central Commission. 

The data for military statistics are kept by the technical 
committee of the War Office. In connection with the new 
law regarding military service, an Annual of Military Sta- 
tistics was published in the early seventies. This was done 
at the instigation of Lieutenant Fieldmarshal Baron von 
Kuhn, who was then minister for war. This work was 
entrusted to a special section of the technical and adminis- 
trative committee on military matters. 


This year-book or annual contained recruiting statistics, 
statistics of rank, statistics of sanitation; the department 
of military education and the administration of penal law 
were also comprised in it; it had a land register, and statistics 
on the diseases and mortality of horses and of the supply of 
cavalry horses. The annual continued to appear until 1894. 
Since that time the matters dealt with in it have been pub- 
lished only in part, although compiled mostly in the same 
manner. Extracts of the various parts are published in the 
Austrian Manual of Statistics. 

The decentrahzation of government statistics, as shown 
by the facts we have given, has been brought about by the 
division of labor. It has been advanced by the progressive 
speciaUzation in statistical methods and by the efficiency 
of the central departments. However, this decentralization 
often causes inconveniences, which the statistical department 
must try to prevent. Of course, there must be a lack of 
uniformity in the treatment of statistical data owing to the 
fact that the work is distributed among various offices. 
The continuous extension of departmental statistics in each 
office of the central government makes it almost impossible 
to obtain a survey of the whole domain of government 

This often leads to two concurrent counts being made, 
thus increasing the cost besides causing uncertainty and 
dissatisfaction in the organization of government statistics. 
The consciousness of imiform management with a definite 
aim is most essential for the success of any collection of 
statistics. The settlement of this difficulty is only possible 
if the Central Commission has an exact insight into all the 
collections made and all the statistical needs in the various 
branches of the department, and this leads to the conclusion 
that not a single branch, of statistics should be concealed 
from the Central Commission in any phase of its official 

However, the Central Commission has contrived to main- 
tain an honored position in the center of administrative 


statistical work in spite of the extensive division of labor. 
The Central Commission has secured a most extensive 
survey of the whole province of statistics, partly by collecting 
the whole material for government statistics and partly 
by maintaining a close connection with all branches of 
national and autonomous government. Even though it 
may temporarily get out of touch with the various sections 
of the statistical service, the thread can soon be taken up 
again, so that, in spite of all difficulties, the Central Com- 
mission stands out as the head of the whole organization. 

V. ' Statistics of Self-Governing Bodies 

The Austrian constitution provides that both the com- 
munal and provincial statistics of the self-governing states 
should be much more independent and comprehensive than 
those of the other states, in which communal and provincial 
statistics merely represent integral parts of the national 

Upon the amendment of the constitution, the self-govern- 
ing states were destined to have judicial problems of their 
own to solve, and the statistical departments in those states 
were given equal power to that of the national statistical 
service. These departments in the self-governing states 
had to assist the legislative and administrative functions of 
the cities and provinces in their respective states. In this 
way they naturally became an auxiliary to the national 
statistical service. Being more closely related — ^both objec- 
tively and geographically — ^to the various phenomena of 
social and agricultural life, this service is able to enter more 
into detail and to suggest the solution of problems for lim- 
ited districts which cannot be dealt with by the national 
service, owing to the fact that its jurisdiction covers the 
whole empire. By intelligent treatment of special local 
problems the autonomous statistical service may explain and 
popularize statistics and arouse the people to an apprecia- 
tion of the imperial statistics. 

Almost all the provinces are developing great efficiency 


in statistics; still the comparison of statistical data has only 
been accomplished by degrees in the provincial offices, and 
by but few of the crown lands at all. The collections and 
publications of the provincial offices are at the disposal of 
the administration. Special problems are dealt with scien- 
tifically. At the same time special attention is given to 
the detailed compilation of the great national censuses, 
especially of the census of population and live stock, and 
the survey of industrial and agricultural pursuits and so on. 

The provincial statistical office of Galicia is the oldest 
(1872) and also shows the greatest literary efficiency. This 
province publishes a Gazette, which now comprises 24 
annual sets; in this publication all departments are dealt 
with, partly in provincial numbers and partly in exhaustive 
single ones. All the data of Galicia's autonomous govern- 
ment have been published, since 1887, in a statistical manual. 
In the years 1883-1898 a special section for industrial and 
trade statistics was created, which published a very instruct- 
ive work on the Condition of Industry and Mining in 
Galicia in 1910. 

The provincial department in Bukowina was established 
in 1870, and published its work in a Gazette, which now 
comprises 16 books. This office also recently published an 
Annual of Statistics for the self-governing Duchy of Buko- 
wina for the year 1907-8, which was repeated for the year 

The Styrian provincial office was established in 1893 and 
has published up to date a Gazette comprising 25 volumes. 
In the years 1899 and 1912 the statistical data were also 
compiled in a Manual. 

In Bohemia, a provincial office of statistics for special 
districts existed as far back as 1861. The regular provincial 
office, inaugurated in 1898, publishes the results of its work 
in a Gazette, which has increased to 21 volumes. The total 
statistics of the crown land were compiled in 1909 and 1913 
in a Manual of Statistics. 


A provincial oflBce was created in Moravia in 1899, but 
has published little up to the present. 

The Silesian provincial office was also established in 1899; 
it publishes a Manual of Statistics of its own, which already 
consists of nine annual parts. In addition the office has 
published several extensive monographs. 

The provincial office of statistics of Lower Austria, estab- 
lished in 1907, compiles the provincial finances in an inde- 
pendent publication. 

The creation of a provincial office of statistics in the Tyrol 
has been under consideration of late. In the remaining 
provinces statistical work is still carried on as part of the 
national statistics. 

As soon as the cities grew prosperous and acquired politi- 
cal independence (or an independent government), they 
began to turn their attention to administrative statistics, in 
which they have developed remarkable efficiency. Owing 
to the peculiar nature of the problems arising from condi- 
tions in the large centers of population, communal statistics 
occupy a place of their own in government statistics. 

The organization of the statistical service in the cities is 
very varied. As a rule communal statistics are managed in 
close connection with the city government, which usually 
has an independent service for its various departments. 
Only in a few cases is the statistical work concentrated in 
one office. We shall now briefly discuss only those forms 
which show a large degree of independence in statistics 
within the scope of the city government. 

The oldest established independent office of statistics is 
that of Vienna, founded in 1861. The Bureau was turned 
into a department of the municipal council in 1883. It then 
began to publish the Statistical Annual of the City of Vieima, 
which is still in existence. Besides this the department also 
publishes weekly and monthly reports on almost all depart- 
ments of the administration. 

The city of Prague estabhshed a Bureau of its own in 
1870; this Bureau works along the same hnes as that of 


Vienna, and publishes a Manual, the first number of which 
appeared in 1871. 

The organization of an office of statistics in Lemberg 
ensued in 1872. The lack of efficiency in this office led to 
its reorganization ia 1890. Since then the office has pub- 
lished an annual as well as the Statistical Gazette for the 
City of Lemberg; a monthly statistical journal since 1906. 

Great results have been achieved by the statistical service 
of Cracow. Here we have numerous reports on specific city 
problems which date back as far as 1868, but it was not until 
1884 that an office of statistics was established in this city. 
This office now publishes annual reports on the movements 
of population and sanitary conditions, besides monthly 
reports on various other administrative matters. 

The establishment of a Bureau of Statistics in Trieste 
dates from 1873. Since 1874 this office has been publishing 
monthly reports on various subjects, and since 1902 weekly 
demographical and meteorological reports besides. 

In 1880 a municipal statistical office was organized in 
Reichenberg; to this office we owe several important works 
on communal statistics. 

In Aussig the statistical memoranda have been compiled 
since 1885 by the Board of Health, which handles the annual 
reports on the demographical and hygienic conditions in the 

Briinn does not possess a bureau of its own, but its city 
council publishes a report on communal enterprises and 

The statistical service in OlmUtz and Tetschen is organized 
in a similar manner to that of Briinn. Since about 1888 
these three cities have published reports on health and ad- 
ministration, mostly comprising five years each. 

Trient has had an office of statistics for some time now. 

One more extremely valuable organization remains to be 
mentioned, by which cooperation between the national and 
autonomous governments in statistical matters is secured. 
In November, 1886, Inama invited a number of Austrian 


cities to send in statistics on uniform formulae. The invi- 
tation was sent to all corporate towns and to all others of 
more than 15,000 inhabitants, but the voluntary participa- 
tion of smaller places was also considered. These reports 
were all combined in an Austrian municipal manual, which 
was laid before the diet of the fourth United Demographical 
and Hygienic Congress in Vienna. A conference of Austrian 
municip£ll statisticians was held in connection with the diet; 
this conference resolved to form the Austrian municipal 
manual into a regular oflScial statistical publication. 

The work is organized on the principle of voluntary con- 
tributions which are furnished on uniform schedules, these 
being drawn up by the Central Commission in agreement 
with representatives of the cities. The Conference of Mu- 
nicipal Statisticians, which meets in Vienna every two years, 
determines the principles on which the work shall be done. 

Under the influence of the impetus given municipal sta- 
tistics by holding inter-communal conferences and the pub- 
lication of the municipal manual, the Diets of Silesia and 
Moravia almost simultaneously passed a resolution to come 
to an understanding with the Central Statistical Commis- 
sion and the provincial committees of the other crown lands 
in regard to the mutual extension of provincial statistics. 

After exhaustive preliminary discussions the publication 
of a Statistical Annual of the Autonomous Provinces was 
decided on, which was to include all the Austrian crown 
lands. The materials contributed by each province were 
gradually to extend to all departments of their administra- 
tion. A periodical compilation of separate subjects was to 
be made at longer intervals, mostly five years. 

The whole plan for the work is laid down in as detailed a 
manner as possible at general conferences. These confer- 
ences met only in Vienna at first, but since 1903 the meeting- 
place has been changed each time, in order to give the 
representatives of the various provinces an opportunity to 
inspect personally the special institutions in each district. 
The President of the Central Statistical Commission pre- 


sided at these conferences, and the necessary preparations 
for them were made by the Central Commission, which 
also has charge of the uniform publication of the materials. 

Thus it will be seen that the Central Commission not only 
had a direct influence on the organization of statistics in the 
autonomous states, but also assisted in their development. 
The advice and opinions of the Commission were helpful to 
provinces and cities in organizing their oflSces of statistics; 
the Presidents of the Commission assisted largely by per- 
sonal intervention; it was also an inducement to many 
autonomous offices to raise their standard of efficiency to 
the minimum required in order to participate in the general 

The Treasury Board, as has already been mentioned, 
takes a lively interest in provincial and municipal finances; 
it has already published works on this subject and is con- 
tinuing to do so. 

With all due appreciation of these organizations, there are 
certain faults which cannot be overlooked in a just criticism. 
The present organization of the Provincial and Municipal 
Manual is based on the principle of individual liberty with 
regard to the contributions, while the program is discussed 
jointly but not accepted as binding on any one. The success 
of such a system depends very largely on the suggestive 
influence of the leading personalities in the organization, so 
that no system can be created on a permanent basis in this 
manner. The lack of "executive authority" is felt here as 
well as in many branches of national statistics; the leading 
statistical office of a state should have this at its disposal in 
order to ensure successful results. 

VI. Conclusion 

There is no fixed rule for ffiling the leading positions in 
the national and autonomous offices of statistics; indeed 
the conditions are too various to permit of a uniform custom. 
Of late years the President of the Central Commission has 
been chosen from the ranks of men who have been aca- 


demic teachers of subjects pertaining to statistics and have, 
at the same time, had practical experience in the field of 
government statistics. The heads of the offices of statistics 
in the central department usually have merely practical 
office training. 

The autonomous offices of statistics are conducted partly 
by former officials of the Central Commission, partly by 
university professors, and partly by men who have received 
their training in the office itself or in similar positions. 

The experience of the Central Statistical Commission 
with regard to its staff has proved that the one-sided training 
of professional statisticians is not altogether to be recom- 
mended for positions of responsibihty. For such positions 
a thorough grasp of administrative matters in general is 
essential, for statistical research alone does not suffice to 
unravel the tangled threads of conditions arising from 
peculiar causes. 

On the other hand, it is only by an exact knowledge of 
the separate departments of the administration that sta- 
tistics can be fitted to given needs and thus be of greater 
practical value without detriment to scientific research. 

In the statistical service of the central departments pro- 
fessional knowledge of these departments is absolutely 
necessary for positions of responsibility; this is especially 
the case in the "special departments" (Fachdepartements) 
of the Treasury Board, in the technical insurance office in 
the Home Department, etc. 

The mere numerical compilation of the materials is 
mostly in the hands of clerks of an audit office who have 
passed a government examination. A special technical 
examination is required only for the department of foreign 
and interstate trade statistics. 

The administration of statistics is assisted in manifold 
ways by various offices and organizations. 

The "competent" (kompetent) boards naturally coop- 
erate in the work, but, besides these, the following also 
assist: The advisory Board of the Office of Labor Statis- 


tics; the Permanent Commission for Estimating Trade 
Values in the Board of Trade. In compiling harvest sta- 
tistics the chief agricultural corporations have the assistance 
of the agricultural unions, the district associations and 
clubs. They also employ permanently confidential men 
belonging to agricultural circles, such as teachers in agri- 
cultural colleges, landed proprietors, farmers and other 
appropriate persons. 

Statistical work in Austria has been directly assisted by 
the pastors of the religious denominations recognized by 
law, who keep "enrolment books" (Matrikenbiicher) for 
this purpose. 

The Central Commission maintains the friendliest rela- 
tions with the statistical service of foreign countries, and 
the directors of government statistics in Austria have always 
regarded it as a privilege to assist in cultivating these rela- 
tions. Austria was one of the first states that made the 
largest appropriation for the decrees of the International 
Statistical Congress, which held its third session in Vienna 
in 1857. The diet of the International Statistical Institute 
has since taken the place of the Congress, and Austria 
has become more closely connected than ever with foreign 
countries in matters of statistics. The decrees of this 
scientific association are regarded as a standard, not only 
for the extension of the work in new departments, but also 
for the reconstruction and reformation of the methods and 
technique of the whole statistical service. 

At the fourteenth session of the Institute, held recently 
in Vienna, a resolution was passed providing for the estab- 
lishment of an international Bureau of Statistics. This 
Bureau already has definite prospects of specific subsidies 
from the governments of various states. Thus the interna- 
tional interchange of ideas on cultural work of mutual 
interest has been greatly advanced. 

The appreciation that is felt for Austria's efficiency in the 
domain of international statistics has been proved by the 
fact that Inama was appointed president of the Institute 


from 1899-1908, while Dr. Meyer, the present President 
of the Central Commission, is now vice-president of the 

The Central Commission and the statistical oflSces of the 
central departments maintain a permanent correspondence 
with a number of independent international institutes. 
Among these are the Industrial Institute of Agriculture in 
Rome; the International Bureau for Legal Protection of 
Labor at Basle; the International Union for Dealing with 
the Problem of the Unemployed in Ghent, etc. 

The cooperation of the Central Commission and the 
statistical offices of the central departments is by no means 
restricted to the members' and officers' interest and partici- 
pation in the deliberations of the Institute; indeed these 
departments have always striven to call the attention of 
foreign experts to their work, especially at the congresses 
and the larger international expositions. 

There is no prospect of any fundamental change in Aus- 
trian statistics. Although the present highly developed 
system of decentralization has the disadvantages that have 
been described, it also has the advantage of facilitating 
the adaptation of statistical work to the vicissitudes of 
agricultural and social life, which sometimes occur rather 
suddenly. The legal bases of statistics are not sufficiently 
developed yet; only in certain departments are there any 
definite rules to regulate the obligation to assist in taking 
the census, whether it be by furnishing reports or collecting 
data; for various reasons there are special difficulties in the 
way of perfecting legislation along these lines in Austria. 
Both these reasons, the excessive division of labor and the 
unequal distribution of legislative bases, place great diffi- 
culties in the way of an equable development of statistics. 

With regard to the first, the Central Commission has a 
very important task to perform, and must cooperate in the 
organization that has become necessary owing to the dis- 
tribution of the work. 

The fact that the Commission is composed of representa- 


tives of all departments enables it to keep the whole thing 
in view in spite of the multiplicity of various branches. It 
behooves the Commission especially to follow the improve- 
ments in methods and technique in all countries and thus 
to keep the lead in statistics. It may be that the organi- 
zation is somewhat lax in comparison with the importance 
and difficulty of the undertaking. A large amoimt of 
mutual good-will and cooperation are needed in order to 
attain the end in view, but these have not been lacking 
hitherto, and the last few years especially have brought 
most satisfactory results. 



By Dr. Armand Julin 

Director-General of the Belgian Labor Bureau, Member of the International 
Statistical Institute 

Chapter I. Historical Survey 

A vigorous interest in statistical researches has been both 
created and facilitated in Belgium by her restricted terri- 
tory, very dense population, prosperous agriculture, and the 
variety and vitality of her manufacturing interests. Nor 
need it surprise us that the successive governments of Bel- 
gium have given statistics a prominent place in their affairs. 
Baron de Reiffenberg, who published a bibliography of the 
ancient statistics of Belgium,* has given a long list of docu- 
ments relating to the population, agriculture, industry, 
commerce, transportation facilities, finance, army, etc. It 
was, however, chiefly the Austrian government which in- 
creased the number of such investigations and reports. 
The royal archives are filled to overflowing with documents 
from that period of our history and their very over-abun- 
dance forms even for the historian a most diflScult task.f 

With the French domination (1794-1814), the interest for 
statistics did not diminish. Lucien Bonaparte, Minister of 
the Interior from 1799-1800, organized in France the first 
Bureau of Statistics, while his successor, Chaptal, undertook 
to compile the statistics of the departments. As far as 
Belgium is concerned, there were published in Paris seven 
statistical memoirs prepared under the direction of the 
prefects. An eighth issue was not finished and a ninth one 

* Nouveaux mimoires de I'Acadimie royale des sciences et belles lettres de Bruxelles, 
t. VII. 

t The Archives of the kingdom and the catalogue of the van Hulthem library, 
preserved in the Biblioth^que Royale at Brussells, offer valuable information on 
this head. 


was never printed. Each of these memoirs dealt with a 
single province of Belgium. Their plan, however, was not 
uniform; but they generally treated of the principal objects, 
such as territory, population, agriculture, industry and com- 
merce. These documents contain a mass of information 
which is even today full of interest and valuable for purposes 
of comparison with more recent data. Because of the 
increased cost of their publication, the French government 
discontinued in 1805 to print these statistical memoirs of the 
prefects. Nevertheless, these officials continued to compile 
certain data and to pubUsh them in the form of almanacs.* 

After the fall of the French empire, the provinces of 
Belgium were in 1814 united with Holland. A royal decree 
of July 3, 1826, appointed a statistical commission attached 
to the central office in the Hague. The management of 
this office was entrusted to Ed. Smits, who, at the same 
time, served as General Secretary of the Statistical Com- 

It is about this time that the name of Queteletf first 
appears in the history of Belgian statistics. To be more 
precise, it was in the month of April, 1825, that Quetelet 
presented to the Academy his first statistical work entitled : 
"Memoir sur les lois des naissances et de la mortality k 
Bruxelles." During his stay in Paris in 1823, Quetelet made 
the acquaintance of Foiuier, Poisson, Lacroix and other 
French savants. It was from this time that he began to 
interest himself in statistics from a scientific viewpoint. 
It was not very long after his initiation that the first results 
of his renowned activity became known. 

In 1827 Smits pubUshed in Bruxelles, under the auspices 
of the statistical commission of the Netherlands, the first 
official collection of documents entitled "Statistique na- 
tionale. Developpement de trente et un tableaux publics 

* Heuschling. Apergu des principales publications statistiques faites sur la Belgique. 
depuis Vincorperation de ce pays d la France, en 179i, jusgu'i ce jour. {Bulletin de 
la Commission Centrale de statistique, tome I, pp. 679 et suiv.) 

t Joseph Lottin. Quetelet, StatisHden et sodologue, Louvain, Institut suplrieur 
de philosophie, 191S. 


par la Commission de statistique." This work, although of 
little scientific value, contained researches into the number 
of births, deaths and marriages in the Netherlands during 
the period 1815-1824. The second collection of tables pub- 
lished by the general commission of statistics appeared in 
the Hague in the year 1829 and dealt with the movement of 
foreign commerce during 1825-1828, sanitation, agriculture, 
meteorology, fisheries and coal mining. 

Quetelet, with his definite bent towards statistics, engaged 
several experts to undertake the calculation of mortality 
tables for some of the more important cities of Belgium. 
He himself continued his researches into the births and 
deaths in Bruxelles and worked up from the original official 
documents the number of foundlings, inmates of work- 
houses and prisons in the kingdom. It is with the aid of 
these documents that he wrote his memoir: "Recherches 
sur la population, les naissances, les deces, les prisons, les 
dep6ts de mendicite, etc., dans le royaume des Pays-Bas," 
laid before the Academy February 27, 1827. This work, 
Quetelet stated, had been undertaken for the purpose of 
inducing the government to take a new census of the popu- 
lation. And indeed, on September 29, 1828, a royal decree 
ordered a census to be taken on January 1, 1830, the very 
year in which the revolution broke out which gave Belgium 
her independence. The Dutch troops were withdrawn after 
four days' fighting, continuing from September 23 to 26, 
1830. September 26 the provisional government was or- 
ganized and proclaimed the independence of Belgium to take 
efifect on October 4, and announced the approaching convo- 
cation of a Congress. 

The taking of the census itself was in no way impeded by 
these events, but the tabulation of the data was necessarily 
retarded. The new government, however, showed great 
interest in statistics in spite of its preoccupation with 
more urgent government affairs. On February 24, 1831, a 
few days after the Congress had enacted the constitution, 
the provisional government organized a general statistical 


bureau in the department of the interior. Smits was made 
its first director. A decree of the regent of Belgium com- 
missioned Smits and Quetelet to publish the results of the 
Census of 1830.* 

The publication appeared in the beginning of the year 
1832 under the title: "Recherches sur la reproduction et 
sur la mortalite de I'homme aux differents S,ges et sur la 
population de la Belgique d'apres le recensement de 1829 
(premier recueil officiel des documents statistiques)." This 
work contains the first table of the population of Belgium 
classified according to sex and civil condition, as well as a 
table of the mortality in urban and rural districts. Further- 
more, it contains observations on the influence of age, 
occupation, economic status, sex and season upon mortality. 
Although this work was published under the name of Quete- 
let and Smits, the former was responsible for the greater 
part of it. 

A little over a year later, Smits and Quetdlet published 
a second work, "Statistique des tribuneaux de la Belgique 
pendant les anndes 1826-1830 (2e recueil oflSciel)." Quete- 
let, who already since 1828 had made known his views on 
social determinism, was intensely interested in moral sta- 
tistics. We need not be surprised, therefore, that under his 
influence the question of criminality was, from the very 
beginning, given prominent place by the Bureau of Statis- 
tics. The larger part of this work was due to Quetelet. 

The means placed at the disposal of the bureau were not 
large and even the very existence of the bureau uncertain. 
More than once the necessary amount proposed in the 
budget was questioned. We also owe a great debt to Smits, 
in spite of the imperfections of his works, for having safe- 
guarded the existence of the bureau and succeeded in pub- 
lishing in succession four volumes on the general statistics 
of the kingdom. They appeared in 1836, 1838, 1840 and 
1841, respectively, the material treated therein being classi- 

* Quetelet. Notice sur M. Edouard Smits. (Bulletin de la Commission centrale 
de statistique, tome V.) 


fied under four principal divisions : the physical, industrial, 
political and moral state of Belgium. 

Quetelet, in his necrological notes dedicated to Smits, 
after having called attention to the sectional division of 
the above-mentioned works, adds the following interesting 
remark: "It is to be regretted that, since then, it has 
practically been decided to adhere no longer to this form 
and to decentralize statistics and to assign its branches to 
the different Ministries; it is evident that it is in the interest 
of the administration and of science to centralize, at least 
as regards the publications, and to re-adopt the former 
methods, if only from the viewpoint of uniformity and 
economy." * 

Smits tendered his resignation in 1841. This is an impor- 
tant year in the history of Belgian statistics, for it marks 
the entrance of Quetelet on the scene of official statistics 
upon which his strong personality left an indelible impres- 

On the 16th of March, 1841, there was organized in the 
Ministry of the Interior a statistical central commission. 

A report t to the king sets forth in the following terms 
the way in which this institution came into being : 

In creating in the Ministry of the Interior a central bureau of statistics, the provi- 
sional government intended to enable the administration to gather and classify in 
systematic order the available data which are to be made the subject of research 
by this important branch of governmental science. 

But soon this object was lost sight of. Some departments neglected their statis- 
tics entirely, while others worked thereon so independently, that they often drew 
their information from the same source, in this way duplicating and crossing each 
other in their researches. This lack of coordination was bound to lead to disorgani- 
zation, double work and incompleteness. 

What oiu" statistics most need in order that our government and science may 
derive the best results to which they are justly entitled after all these efforts is a 
central management, a clear object and well defined bases of investigation. 

There shall be created a statistical central commission for the purpose of bringing 
together in a central office all the information which has heretofore been collected 
by the different administrations. 

Each department shall continue to publish its own statistics but on a uniform 

* Quetelet, he dt., p. 543. 

t The documents analysed hereafter are printed in extenso in the front of the first 
volume of the Bulletin de la Commission Centrale de Statistique. 


plan, previously decided upon, in this way securing a working coordination and a 
uniformity of the publications. 

On account of its importance we quote the exact text of 
the royal decree of March 16, 1841: 

Pursuant of a decree of the provisional government of Belgium, dated January 
24, 1831, commissioning the ministry of the interior with the creation of a general 
statistical department of the kingdom; 

In order to regulate and extend the statistical publications of the different minis- 
terial departments; 

On the strength of the reports of our Minister of the Interior and the advice of 
the chiefs of the other departments; 

We have decreed and are decreeing: 

Article 1. — Be it known that there is created in the ministry of the interior a 
statistical central commission whose members shall be appointed by us and chosen 
as far as possible from among the o£Scials of the different government departments. 

Article 2. — One third of the commission shall be renewed every two years 
beginning with the first day of January, 1843. The retirements shall take place 
in order of seniority in service and, in case of equality, by lot. Retiring members 
shall be provided for. 

Article 3. — The commission shall submit a complete plan for the statistical 
publications of the different branches of the administration. 

Article 4. — It shall have to pass upon matters submitted to it by our Minister 
of the Interior. It shall communicate directly with the Minister. 

Article 5. — ^The manner in which it is to exercise its functions and the order 
of its working procedure shall be set forth in a special manual, subject to our 
approval, drawn up by the Minister of the Interior with the assistance of the chiefs 
of other departments. 

Article 6. — A certain sum shall be appropriated for attendance, allowances and 
office expenses. 

Article 7. — Our Minister of the Interior is responsible for the execution of this 

Bbuxelles, March 16, 1841. Leopold. 

Quetelet, who was appointed president of the Statistical 
Central Commission, held this position until his death on 
February 17, 1874, and Xavier HeuschUng, chief of the 
statistical bureau of the Ministry of the Interior, was made 
secretary of the commission, in which capacity he served 
until December 30, 1870. 

Immediately after the institution of the Statistical Central 
Commission, the government endeavored to ascertain and 
report regularly upon the strength and wealth of the country, 
the physical condition and the moral and intellectual state 


of the nation. With this object in view, official publications 
were undertaken or continued on the subject of the move- 
ment of the population, foreign commerce, mining, metallur- 
gical factories and steam engines. There need as yet to be 
mentioned the rather important administrative pubUcations 
of the railroads, the highways and canals, city toll, tariff on 
bread and meat, conditions of the laboring classes and child 
labor, work performed in prisons and workhouses, gifts for 
religious and charitable establishments and public instruc- 
tion in all grades.* 

But it was the preparation for and taking of a complete 
census to which the efforts of the Statistical Central Commis- 
sion were chiefly directed. This census, which was taken 
on the 15th of October, 1846, dealt with the population, 
with agriculture and with industry. At the time of its 
issuance it was considered a work of the highest order from 
the viewpoint of statistical analysis and arrangement of the 
material and even today gives valuable information on 
many points. 

The data relating to that part of the census deaUng with 
the population are subdivided into the following subjects : — 
the number of inhabited and empty houses; the number of 
stories and occupied rooms, classified according to urban 
and rural districts; pleasure grounds adjoining dweUings; 
houses insured against fire, and the amount of insurance, 
furniture and merchandise included; population by house 
and family; population classified by sex; indigent families 
or households one or more of whose members are dependent 
upon public charity; children classified by sex, who are 
receiving instruction in primary, middle or superior public 
schools or at home; finally, the population according to 
residence at the time of the enumeration and classified as to 
civil status, origin, language, religion, age, occupation or 
condition, t 

*See, Expoai de la Situation du Royaume, 18il-B0, Introduction. In the 
Bibliography prepared by Heuschling, and cited above, will be found the exact 
titles of the publications here mentioned in a general way. 

t Expose de la Situation du Royaume, 18^-60, titre II, p. i. 


The agricultural census is even today considered by 
scientists a work of the first order. It comprised an enumer- 
ation in each community of the agricultural population from 
the age of 12 and upwards, separating the members of the 
family permanently occupied in agricultural pursuits, the 
farm hands and day laborers, with the number of days spent 
in work during the year, the number of domestic animals, 
the area under cultivation, the subdivisions of this area, the 
nature and extent of the products, the production and 
quantity per hectare and the total quantity, also informa- 
tion on the rotation of crops, the mean weight of grain and 
seed per hectolitre, the wages of the day laborers, the average 
price of the ground and the leases per hectare and the seeds 
used per hectare. 

The industrial census contained information for each 
industry of the country as to the number of factories, manu- 
facturers or artisans, the number of workers by sex and age 
(including the foremen and members of the family employed 
as workmen); a classification of the workers according to 
daily wages; the number and amount of horse power of the 
engines; the number of furnaces, forges and ovens; the 
number of looms, machines and principal utensils employed 
in the industry. 

It had not been considered advisable to extend the census 
any further for fear that the accuracy of the declaration 
might suffer and that, in asking for too many details, the 
whole success of the enterprise might be jeopardized. 

The statistical tables are arranged according to a general 
technological grouping and according to the alphabetical 
order of the industries. The data of those localities entitled 
to the name of towns are published separately, while those 
of other communities are treated together. Furthermore, 
the results are classified by provinces, and a second part 
of the census entitled "Recapitulation generale" groups all 
the former data and summarizes them. The industrial 
classification comprises 275 rubrics or divisions. 


The Census of 1846 does not concern itself with industries 
carried on in the home. 

According to the authors of the census, "this restriction 
was necessary in order to prevent double entries which 
would otherwise have occurred frequently as many house- 
workers work for more than one concern." 

Nor was the population following commercial pursuits 
considered in this census. The transportation industry was 
also omitted in the enumeration. 

From the view point of accuracy of the declarations made, 
the most stringent precautions were taken to insure the 
return of the bulletins, which were subjected to a most 
rigid examination on the part of the central administration, 
and whenever the slightest doubt existed, supplementary 
information was asked for. 

As regards the number of workers occupied in various 
industries (314,842), it must be considered firstly, that the 
census was taken in October of 1846, that is to say, right 
after a very severe economic crisis, and that it is therefore 
safe to say that the declarations made by the employers have 
in many cases been incorrect; and secondly, that the em- 
ployers rarely return the exact number of workmen employed 
in order to escape part of the hcense fee. The figures given 
in the statistics have, therefore, more than once been taken 
from the number of licenses issued annually. The number 
of 314,842 workmen must thus be regarded as very low. 

The official statistics were thus based upon this threefold 
Census of 1846. 

With these vast operations the organization period of 
Belgian statistics is brought to a close. 


Chapter II. Organization and Reports op Statistical 


I. Legislation 

In Belgium there is no general legislation on the organi- 
zation and functional purposes of statistics. 

The enumerations of the population were soon taken at 
regular intervals. After the first census of this kind had 
been taken in conformity with an Order in Council of June 

30, 1846, a law of June 2, 1856, prescribed that a general 
census of the population should be taken every ten years in 
all of the communes of the kingdom, the first of which was 
to take place December 31, of the same year. Later, in 
order to bring the Belgian census date into agreement with 
that generally selected in other countries, the law of May 25, 
1880, modified the period of the general enumeration. The 
first clause states that the enumeration of the population 
should take place henceforth on dates corresponding to a 
decimal date. The next census was fixed for December 

31, 1880. It was to include a census of agriculture and 

The keeping of registers of population is closely bound 
up with the carrying out of general enumerations. The 
Order in Council of June 30, 1846, had already made this 
obligatory in each of the communes of the kingdom; the 
law of June 2, 1856, renewed this requirement and ordained 
that the registers of population should be corrected and 
completed after each census. 

A census of industry was taken in 1846, in 1866 (not pub- 
lished), in 1880, in 1896 and in 1910. The first three were 
taken by virtue of the law and Orders in Council prescrib- 
ing the census of the population. That of 1896 was taken 
under the law of June 29, 1896; articles 3 and 4 of this law 
provided penalties for persons who refused to fulfil the re- 
quirements of the census and declared that the facts might 
be gathered oflacially at the expense of the delinquents. 


The law of December 14, 1910, made provision for the 
taking of a census of industry at regular intervals: "There 
shall be taken every ten years," states the first clause of 
that law, "conjointly with the general census of the popula- 
tion, a census of industry and of commerce." 

Compared with previous laws relating to the censuses of 
industry, the law of December 14, 1910, presents various 
distinctive features: First, the regular periodicity of the 
census is established, whereas previously the census had been 
taken at irregular intervals of from twenty to fourteen and 
sixteen years between former censuses; second, the census 
is combined with the enumeration of the population and is 
taken conjointly with it. This was the case in 1846, in 
1866 and in 1880, but the Census of 1896 was based upon 
the population registers drawn up as a result of the 
general census of December 31, 1890. A summary of the 
methods of the Census of 1896 gives all the details resulting 
from the choice of this statistical basis; third, the census is 
extended to include industry and commerce. Those of 
1846, 1880 and 1896 include only industry; that of 1866 was 
extended to commercial estabHshments but it was not pub- 
lished. As in 1896, penalties are provided for those who 
refuse to comply with the official requirements. 

There were censuses of agriculture in 1846, in 1856, in 
1866 and 1880, carried out simultaneously with the censuses 
of the population. The law of September 11, 1895, provided 
for a general census of agriculture to be taken that year. 
Clause two of the same law states: that beginning with the 
year 1896 a partial census of agriculture should be taken 
annually, relating particularly to crops and the number of 
the principal animals utilized in agriculture. 

These partial enumerations were carried out for some 
years. They were finally discontinued, their utility not 
being proportionate to their expense. A general census was 
taken on December 31, 1910. 

The legislative measures which have just been enumer- 
ated had in view certain special statistical operations, such 


as the enumerations of the population, of industry and of 
agriculture, or keeping the registers of the population. 
They do not exactly constitute a government statute whose 
character is determined by a definite statistical purpose. 
We must turn to the Bureau of Labor in order to see an 
instance of general statistics regulated by a public act of 
authority. The Bureau of Labor was created by an Order 
in Council of November 12, 1894, and was organized by 
virtue of a second Order in Council bearing the date of April 
12, 1895. According to the terms of article 2 of this Order, 
"the Bureau of Labor has for its function to make inquiry, 
wherever necessary, and at the instance of competent author- 
ities, as to the outlook of industrial and agricultural labor, 
and also as to the condition of the wage earners in industry, 
trades, commerce, agriculture and transportation; to in- 
vestigate the effects of the laws and regulations regarding 
them, and in general to collect all such information as may 
contribute to their material, intellectual and moral well- 

There may also be cited among the measures taken in 
Belgium by the central authority, the Orders in Council 
by virtue of which the Statistical Central Commission has 
been charged with pubhshing an account of the condition 
of the kingdom. The purpose of these publications is to 
state authoritatively and set forth in regular order the phys- 
ical, moral and intellectual condition of the nation, the 
power, the strength, and the wealth of the country. Sta- 
tistical accounts have appeared relating to the periods 
1841-1850, 1851-1860, 1861-1875, 1876 to 1900. The 
compilation of the last summary statement which has just 
been published was the outcome of an Order in Council of 
May 29, 1902. A new summary statement for the period 
1901-1910 is in preparation (Order in Council, November 
20, 1913). 

Aside from the cases which have just been noted, the 
statistical publications by the different ministerial depart- 
ments do not find their basis in an act of legislative power 


or of executive power, in the form of an Order in Council; 
they originate by virtue of an administrative decision and 
are based on a tradition more or less ancient. A complete 
hst of them is given at the end of this article. 

II. Subject Matter of the Principal Statistical Publications 

in Belgium 

A. Deniographic Statistics. — ^The principal demographical 
investigation is the census of the population, the basic leg- 
islation for which we have pointed out above. 

The census* aims to ascertain the number of inhabitants 
either according to the population of customary residence 
or according to the population de facto; also according to 
sex, age, place of birth, nationality, language, degree of 
education, civil condition, occupations or positions of the 
inhabitants, number of households and the number of 
houses. The census is preceded by a verification of the 
numbering of all the houses and places which serve as habi- 
tations, and of a list of these houses and places. 

Agents are appointed by the communal administrations 
under the control of the provincial governor in the propor- 
tion of at least one to every one thousand inhabitants, to 
distribute and gather up from the houses the blank forms 
provided for the declarations of the inhabitants. The dis- 
tribution of the blank forms is made from the 20th to the 
25th of December. These forms are of three kinds: the 
household form, the special personal form and the special 
collective form. 

On the household form, the only form used previous to 
1876, is written the names of every person composing the 
household, having their customary residence in the enumer- 
ated house, whether they are present or not at the time of 
the taking of the census. 

The special personal form is used for the names of persons 
who do not have their customary residence in the house but 

* From the Report an the Condition of the Kingdom, 1876-1910. Vol. II, p. 68. 


find themselves there accidentally at the time of the taking 
of the census. 

The special collective form, established in 1890, includes 
the list of persons segregated in boarding schools, barracks, 
charitable institutions, etc. The facts concerning each of 
the persons inscribed in the collective form are finally copied 
on individual sUps which are addressed, like the special 
personal forms, to the commune in which the various persons 
have declared that they have their customary residence. 
These forms, then, only serve to avoid duplications and to 
check the names on the household form. The household 
form is- the basis of the census. Every Belgian or foreigner, 
whether present or not at the time of the taking of the cen- 
sus in the house where he customarily resides, ought to be 
inscribed on the household form sent into that house. The 
total of the persons whose names appear on the household 
form constitute the population de jure. Household must 
not be confused with family. The instructions of 1900 
precisely define these terms, stating that "the household 
(menage) is a small or collective unit made up either of one 
person hving alone or by a combination of two or more 
persons who, whether united or not by family bonds, cus- 
tomarily reside in the same habitation and there have a 
common life." 

The household form and eventually the special form must 
be completed by the head of the household, who must give 
the facts corresponding to the situation as of midnight, 
December 31. 

The taking of the returns at the houses of the inhabitants 
is begun January 2, by census agents. It is the duty of 
these agents to check the accuracy of the declarations. 
The following are the steps successively taken: first, the 
filling in of a special return of the number of houses and 
households; second, transcribing on individual cards the 
facts mentioned for each person in the household form; third, 
calculation, from the number of these cards, of the number 
of inhabitants, by classes, and the writing of this number 


in the special returns. The counting of the individual cards 
has replaced the checking system used prior to 1876 in mak- 
ing the abstracts from the household forms. 

The communal administration transcribes the numbers 
from these returns into recapitulation tables, and sends 
them to the Minister of the Interior. A specially created 
census bureau there verifies and coordinates the tables 
drawn up by the communal administrations, and proceeds 
to the work of recapitulation by administrative arrondisse- 
ments, by provinces and for the kingdom. The infant 
population was classified in 1890 according to the language 
customarily used in the household of which they formed a 
part; in 1900, as in 1880, they have been considered as not 
speaking any language. 

The statistics of changes in the civil condition of the popu- 
lation are published by the Statistical Central Commission; 
these may perhaps be considered as a supplement to the 
population census, and for that reason assume a real impor- 
tance. These statistics were first published in 1857.* They 
were at first included in a collection entitled "Documents 
Statistiques." These documents were discontinued in 1869, 
when they were replaced by the "Annuaire Statistique" 
of the kingdom, the first volume of which contained docu- 
ments relating to the year 1870. It was thought that the 
statistics of the changes in the civil condition and of the 
population would be duplicated by the data published in 
the statistical annual, and so the former was discontinued. 
Later, however, it was seen that the synthetic figures pub- 
lished in the statistical annual did not permit of the more 
or less thorough study of those statistics — one of the most 
essential requirements for general statistics. 

The statistics of the changes in the civil condition of the 
population were then resumed, beginning with the year 
1867; the first of the new publications covered the period 
1867 to 1881; it was published in 1883; since that time the 
publication has appeared regularly. It contains twelve 

* Compare BvlMin of the Central Commission of Statistics. Vol. XV, p. 423. 


parts: movement of the population; immigration and emi- 
gration; changes in the civil condition of the population; 
number of marriages, births, and deaths, as well as still-born 
and other infants born dead; age of decedents; respective 
ages of brides and grooms at time of marriage; special statis- 
tics of twins and other multiple births; civil condition of 
brides and grooms; civil condition of married decedents; 
causes of deaths; special statistics of deaths by violence; 
special statistics of deaths from suicide. 

The annual observation of the movement of the popula- 
tion is, like the general census of the population, decentral- 
ized; it is established by communal administrations which 
utilize for the purpose the civil registers and the registers of 
the population. These lists are transmitted to the central 
administration where the oflBce of general statistics verifies 
them, transcribes them in special registers and makes a 
recapitulation according to the administrative territorial 
divisions. The central bureau of the Minister of the Interior 
has only to transcribe and add the tables. This method is 
abandoned in nearly all European countries. The advan- 
tages of centralization are evident; it has just been proposed 
that the communal administrations limit themselves to 
amplifying the tables, the elements of which would then 
be abstracted and combined by the Bureau of General Sta- 
tistics of the Minister of the Interior. The Statistical Cen- 
tral Commission, pleased with the proposition, has just 
pronoimced itself in favor of this reform. 

We have spoken above of the population registers, the 
regular keeping of which, dating from 1846, was sanctioned 
by the law of June 2, 1856. The population register is a list 
of all the inhabitants having their customary residence in a 
coromune, with an indication of their names and Christian 
names, place and date of their birth, civil condition, their 
legal residence, their occupation, business or position, and 
their nationality. 

The utility of the population registers manifests itself 
under a triple aspect: political, administrative and statis- 


tical. The revision of the lists of electors for the legisla- 
tive chambers, and the provincial and communal councils, 
is made by the communal administration from the facts 
noted in the population registers; in police matters these 
registers also render valuable services; finally, the regular 
keeping of these documents makes it possible to draw up 
certain parts of the annual statistics of the movement of 
the population, to publish annually the approximate figure 
of the population of the kingdom, and even, as in 1896, to 
find therein, in case of necessity, the basis for an industrial 
census without having recourse in the first instance to a 
technical enumeration. 

B. Economic Statistics. — ^From the beginning the govern- 
ment has concerned itself with the economic elements of 
national prosperity. The first statistics on mines, quarries 
and metallurgical establishments date from 18S8. The 
outlines of these statistics were after some years revised and 
completed on the advice of the Statistical Central Com- 
mission; a new publication appeared in 1852, relating to 
the years 1845 to 1849. 

The elements of these statistics are collected by the 
corps of mine engineers, centralized by the chief engineers 
of a mining district, and finally transmitted to the central 
administration which abstracts them by groups of data and 
publishes the results. The publication is annual. At the 
present time* it appears in a brochure and under the title: 
"Statistique des industries extractives et metallurgiques et 
des appareils k vapeur en Belgique pour I'annee. . . ." 
(Statistics of extractive and metalliu-gic industries and of 
steam apparatus in Belgium for the year . . .). They 
include detailed tables relating to coal mines, their produc- 
tion, expenses, profits and losses; the classification of the 
personnel, the wages and the production per employe. 
Other summary tables relate to the manufacture of coke 

* Since 1901; previous to that year the statistics of mines, etc., appeared 
in "Annales des Travaux publics" (up to 1894), and in the "Annates des Mines" 
after that. Ever since 1855 they have been the object of special publications. 


and of charcoal, to licensed and free metallurgical mines 
and to quarries. For these latter businesses, the data relat- 
ing to open quarries are assembled by the communal admin- 
istrations. The metallurgical industries are also the object 
of statistics : they include successively blast-furnaces, steel 
works, the manufacture of zinc, of lead and of silver, the 
manufacture of iron, and establishments for the working of 
iron and steel; steam apparatus is included when account- 
ing for the number and power of motors, the number and 
the heating surface in square meters of the generators, by 
provinces and principal industries. In the provinces which 
do not possess mines these data are gathered by the civil 
engineers. The publication ends with a table of the acci- 
dents occurring in coal mines. 

The statistics of extractive and metallurgical industries, 
together with certain returns published by the tax authori- 
ties relating to industries subject to the excise law, are the 
only official Belgian statistics containing data on industrial 
production; for this reason they are of special interest. 

The statistics of the foreign commerce of Belgium also 
date from the first years of national independence. It was 
the Minister of the Interior who took the initiative in this, 
the first publication embracing the years 1831 to 1834. 
Seven oflScial publications appeared successively, the last 
relating to the year 1840. The following year the statis- 
tics of foreign commerce were placed under the Minister 
of Finance, who still actually makes the returns. 

The volume of business transactions was at first expressed 
by means of "valem-s oflficielles permanentes" (permanent 
official values), that is to say, the price at which each article 
of merchandise was valued, was fixed, once for all, by the 
administration. The list of values was decreed in 1833; 
it remained in force until the Order in Council of October 
10, 1847, which prescribed an annual revision of values for 
such merchandise as formed an important part in trade. 
Since that time the system has been generalized. It is 
necessary to note, however, that the revised official values 


are applied only to such products as are admitted free or 
are subject to specific tax; the articles of merchandise taxed 
ad valorem must be declared by the importer and exporter. 
A special commission of experts each year makes a revision 
of the official values. The cost of transportation up to the 
Belgian frontier, or beginning from that point, are included 
in the value. 

The origin and the destination of merchandise is one of 
the most important points to be explained. In Belgium, 
from 1831 to 1840, it was held that the country of origin 
was that from whence the merchandise came at the actual 
moment of its passage into Belgium, even when in reality 
it originated in another country. The exports by land were 
considered as being destined for the country where the 
merchandise entered when leaving Belgian soil. On this 
principle, however, Belgium appeared to have no. commer- 
cial relations with certain states, Switzerland for example. 
This rule was abandoned in 1841. Since that date the real 
country of origin is sought for, that is to say, the country 
from which the merchandise has been expedited on its 
destination to Belgium, either directly or in transit through 
other countries, even when there has been a transhipment. 
In the countries of transhipment the merchandise must not 
have become nationalized by being the object of a com- 
mercial transaction. The country of destination is indicated 
by the exportation; it is the country toward which the mer- 
chandise is really sent, no matter whether the article is 
Belgian in origin or nationalized. 

Between 1831 and 1854 the Belgian statistics presented 
foreign commercial products under three general headings: 
raw material, produce and manufactured articles; under 
the heading of produce was designated products delivered 
for consumption in their natural state. This classification 
was abandoned in 1854, the merchandise being from that 
date enumerated in the rules of the custom house official in 


alphabetical order.* In 1907 the principle of systematic 
grouping was revived, and in 1908 merchandise was grouped 
and presented under four classes: I, live animals; II, bever- 
ages and foods; III, raw and simply prepared materials; 
IV, manufactured products. There has recently been added 
a fifth division relating to gold and silver metals, and gold 
and silver coin. 

Belgium has taken the initiative in bringing about an 
international convention to consider the establishment of 
commercial statistics common to the principal nations. The 
first convention took place in Brussels in 1910. An inter- 
national conference met in the same city in 1913. The 
contractual states decided to establish, in addition to the 
commercial statistics published by each country, special 
statistics based upon a common nomenclature, grouping 
the merchandise imported and exported into a limited num- 
ber of classes, with an indication of the value and, as far as 
possible, of the weight. A common nomenclature was 
decreed to this effect; the publication of these special statis- 
tics will be assured by an office established in Brussels under 
the name of "Bureau international de statistique commer- 

This bm-eau will publish a bulletin. The convention will 
become obligatory, after ratification, beginning with the 
first of July, 1914; it is concluded for seven years and may 
be tacitly renewed. The signatory states are Germany, 
Belgium, Bolivia, Chili, Col6mbia, Cuba, Denmark, San 
Domingo, Spain, France, Great Britain, Guatemala, Haiti, 
Honduras, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Para- 
guay, Dutch East Indies, Peru, Persia, Portugal, Russia, 
Siam, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay. 

The common nomenclature includes the five categories 

* In 1906, we drew attention to the importance of these classifications and we 
have shown what were the results one might draw from this grouping applied to 
Belgium statistics. Compare our article " De quoi se compose le commerce ext^rieur 
de la Belgique" (What constitutes foreign commerce in Belgium) in the Revue 
economigue intemationaie {International Economic Review) March, 1907. 


enumerated above; the total number of articles of mer- 
chandise enumerated is 186. 

The comparison of the data relating to international com- 
merce cannot fail to lead to some general information of the 
highest interest. It is to be desired that some of the large 
states which have not yet become signatories to the conven- 
tion will soon join with those who have given their adhesion. 

To the commercial statistics are joined several statistics 
relating to industries subject to a particular fiscal rule 
(excise duties). These industries are placed under the 
control of government agents, and in that way their pro- 
duction can be known. With the mining and metallurgical 
industries supervised by mine engineers, these are the only 
Belgian industries of which some data relating to their pro- 
duction are known. Statistics are applicable to breweries, 
vinegar factories, distilleries, sugar factories and refineries, 
and to tobacco culture. 

The most important contribution to economic statistics 
is that furnished by the censuses of industry. We have 
set forth, in a few words, the Census of 1846 organized by 
Quetelet. It remains for us to describe, briefly, the Censuses 
of 1880, 1896 and 1910.* 

The industrial census of December 31, 1880, was decreed 
by the law of May 25, 1880, and was carried out at the same 
time as the census of population and of agricultiu-e. From the 
view point of the extent of statistical operations, it presents 
a special character. The Statistical Central Commission 
had expressed the opinion that it was impossible to extend 
the census indiscriminately to all industries and trades; 
according to the Central Commission it was because too 
much had been attempted in the industrial census of 1866 
that nothing worth while had been secured. Therefore it 
was decided to limit the return to 57 branches of industry 
only, out of the 111 in the methodical classification. The 
list of these industries is available in the official publication. 

* Reproduced from the statement (ExposS) of the Methods of the Census of 
Industry and Commerce, December 31, 1910. 



Even with these restrictions, the census could not be 
carried out in an absolutely complete fashion, for the ques- 
tionnaires were obviously subject to errors or showed omis- 
sions. Serious difficulties resulted, and these were consid- 
ered so unsurmountable for certain industries that they were 
abandoned, the facts obtained being absolutely incomplete. 
Such was the case for the sea fisheries, the manufacture of 
carpets, woolen and silk tapestries, the manufacture of laces 
and of tulle and blond, the construction of sewing and quilt- 
ing machines, the construction of telegraph and telephone 
apparatus, public works enterprises, and the transportation 
of mail, of passengers, and of merchandise by ordinary 
roads, by railways, and by navigation. 

It was seen also that, after the abstracting of the docu- 
ments, the data relating to industrial apparatus, the return 
for which had been asked for on the instructions and ques- 
tionnaires, were incomplete or defective. As they appeared 
to be too vague, it was thought best not to publish them. 
On the other hand, the limits of some industries were ex- 
tended. The total number of industries taken into account 
was 49. 

The information relating to these industries was collected 
by the aid of questionnaires. These documents were of four 
kinds : first, the personal census; second, the census of motors, 
steam boilers and generators; third, a census of industrial 
apparatus, with the exception of hand tools; fourth, the 
census of production. 

In the personal returns the attempt was made to learn the 
position held, the number and sex of the persons employed 
in the industrial undertakings, the average duration of 
employment and the time of employment, the wages of the 
laborers per day (in money, in kind, or in share of profits). 

The census of motors, steam boilers and generators aimed 
to enumerate the number and power of the motors and the 
customary steam pressure and the number of simple steam 


It has been stated that the information relating to appa- 
ratus was too incomplete to be published. 

Finally, as regards production, the census aimed to deter- 
mine the number of products according to the nature of the 
products, and also the value of the annual production. 

The Census of 1880 revealed the existence in Belgium of 
26,522 industrial establishments, divided among the 49 
branches of industry considered; the number of employers 
was 28,096, the number of clerical employes, 15,508, of 
laborers, 384,065; the number of motors, 13,113, developing 
a horse-power of 242,435. As to the production, its value 
was estimated to be, according to the census, 2,177 million 

The Census of October 31, 1896, decreed by the law of 
June 29, 1896, was organized by the Order in Council of 
July 22, following. This census, the methods and results 
of which have been described in volume XVIII of the publi- 
cation, presents, in comparison with former enumerations, 
a certain number of characteristic features which it is useful 
to recall. In the first place, its generahty: it was exteiided 
to all industries and trades, including home work, which had. 
not been enumerated since the Censuses of 1846 and 1880, 
and transportation industries, which were excluded in 1846, 
and the collection of the data for which had been given up 
in 1880. The only Belgian information to which that of 
1896 is comparable, subject to the omissions which have 
just been noted, is the industrial enumeration made fifty 
years earlier, in 1846. 

The Census of 1896 presents also the characteristic of 
not being immediately preceded nor accompanied by any 
general enumeration. To obtain knowledge of the em- 
ployers and heads of workingmen's families to whom the 
forms should be sent, use was made of the population regis- 
ters, established as a result of the decennial census of the 
population, December 31, 1890, and brought down to date 
by the communal administrations. The use of these regis- 
ters as a basis of census operations made a careful cor- 


rection of the documents indispensable; the mechanism 
of these supplementary operations, too long to describe in 
this place, are stated in detail in volume XVIII (already 
cited) of the publication. 

Not only were the employers required to answer a ques- 
tionnaire, but in addition the heads of workingmen's fam- 
ilies were invited to complete the blank forms relating to the 
wage-earning population. A special form (Form B) was 
sent to every family in which at least one member had been 
designated on the population register as a workingmanor 
workingwoman in industry or trade. This furnished the 
following information concerning every member of the 
family: name and Christian name, sex, place of birth, date 
of birth, civil condition, degree of relationship to the head of 
the household or occupation. A special agent visiting the 
home of the family noted for every workingman or working- 
woman in industry or trade the following facts: work at 
home or outside of house, name and industry of the em- 
ployer, commime where establishment was located, street 
and number. 

It may be said that the essential characteristic of the 
Census of October 31, 1896, was the minute correction to 
which the documents were subjected. Independently of 
internal criticisms to which they were subjected, the forms 
intended to contain the answers of the persons enumerated 
were distributed to the heads of workingmen's families and 
thus served as a reciprocal check. Form B assisted materi- 
ally in correcting the faulty returns relating to classification 
of industries and to the number of occupied workingmen; 
they served also to bring out the omissions in the census of 
industrial enterprises of small importance. Other means of 
check also supplemented this process of statistical criticism. 

From the census of industries there were excluded: the 
Belgian government railroads; the various public services 
of the local administrations, of an industrial character; the 
enterprises pertaining to establishments or institutions of 
an unproductive character; the industrial occupations which 


are intimately associated with the carrying on of trade; and 
industries which may be considered as a prolonging of the 
agricultural industry. 

The Census of 1896 showed 337,395 enterprises and divi- 
sions of enterprises, 1,102,244 persons actively engaged in 
enterprises, of whom 842,000 were workingmen and working- 
women in private enterprises, among whom 118,000 working- 
men and workingwomen worked at home; small industries 
(1 to 4 workers) engaged 13.92 per cent, of the working 
population; industries of average size (5 to 49 workers) 26.96 
per cent. ; large industries (50 to 499 workers) 36.66 per cent. ; 
and the largest industries (500 workers and over) 23.46 per 

The Census of 1910 was extended to industry and 
commerce. It was taken December 31, by means of two 
individual forms distributed by census agents at the homes 
of all persons whose names appeared on the household form 
used for the population census, as carrying on an industrial 
or commercial occupation. 

The employers in industry and those engaged in commerce 
were required to make answer to the questions in a special 
form; these questions concerned the nature of the industry 
or of the commerce, the juridical form of the enterprise and 
the fact as to whether or not the enterprise listed on the form 
was, in its entirety, the only occupation of the employer, 
or whether it was a division of a business, the number of 
motors and their horse power, whether the sales were whole- 
sale or retail (as regards commerce), and finally, the number 
of persons employed (members of the family of the employer, 
clerical force and wage earners). 

The second individual form was for the purpose of collect- 
ing the answers of the clerical force, of the workingmen in 
factories and the workingmen in homes, and the collabo- 
rating workmen of the latter. 

The census was entirely centralized. All the forms were 
transmitted by the communal administrations to the Bureau 
of Labor; that office examined, corrected and abstracted 


them. There were 383,094 returns to the communal admin- 
istrations to be corrected or completed; 95,537 forms were 
discarded, either because they related to categories not 
included in the census or because they were duplicates. 

The census comprises two parts: the occupational enu- 
meration and the industrial enumeration. The occupational 
enumeration shows, commune by commune, the number 
of persons carrying on an industrial or commercial occupa- 
tion, whether they are independent owners of the business, 
members of the family of the employer, clerical employes, 
workmen, unemployed, the industry or branch of commerce 
in which they are employed (38 groups). 

In addition, two blanks are reserved for the study of 
supplementary occupations. A fourth blank was reserved 
for statistics of wage earners and employes working in a 
commune other than that of their domicile, the migrations 
of workingmen being of considerable importance in Belgium 
on account of the easy means of transportation. These 
statistics make possible for the first time a study of this 
phenomenon in all its details. 

The occupational enumeration is published. 

The second part, in preparation, is the industrial enumera- 
tion. It includes four blanks relating to the nature of the 
industries, and their location, the juridical form of the enter- 
prises and their extent expressed by the number of working- 
men employed and, finally, the sex, age and civil condition 
of the workingmen and clerical employes. 

There were enumerated on December 31, 1910 (occupa- 
tional census) : 

For industry: 260,521 employers, 91,693 members of the 
families of employers, 86,302 clerical employes, 1,185,381 
manual laborers, 1,161 clerks not working, 85,103 manual 
laborers not working — a grand total of 1,710,161 persons, to 
whom are to be added 8,983 persons carrying on under a 
supplementary title an occupation connected withi ndustry. 

For commerce: 216,130 employers, 215,696 members of 
families of employers, 48,822 clerical employes, 37,711 man- 


ual laborers, 1,621 clerical employes not working, 2,783 man- 
ual workers not working, making a total of 522,763 persons; 
in addition, 24,045 persons carrying on under a supplemen- 
tary title a commercial occupation. 

Taking into account 5,084 persons enumerated who have 
not been classed in a definite group, there were then at the 
time of the census 2,238,008 persons carrying on under a 
principal occupation heading an industry or commercial 
business, and 33,028 persons belonging to these categories 
by reason of their supplementary occupation. The popu- 
lation of Belgium being 7,417,454 on the same date, the 
population engaged in industry or commercial industries 
represents more than 30 per cent, of the total. 

C. Social Statistics. — ^We have already said that the first 
judicial statistics compiled in Belgium were due to the ini- 
tiative of Quetelet; aided by Ed. Smits, director of the 
statistical bureau, he published a return, including the years 
1826 to 1830, and embracing the courts of assize, the cor- 
rectional tribunals, and the pohce tribunals. Later the 
Department of Justice continued to publish these statistics 
at irregular intervals, following the plan of Quetelet. In 
1832, there were added statistics of civil and commercial 
justice which formed the subject matter of a special publica- 
tion. The statistics of criminal justice were established for 
the civil year (January 1 to December 31); the statistics of 
civil and commercial justice for the judicial year (October 
1 to September 30). This arrangement still exists. 

After it was decided to publish every ten years an account 
of the condition of the kingdom, the judicial statistics dis- 
appeared as a special publication. The figures relating to 
the activity of the criminal courts during the years 1840 to 
1849, and of the civil and commercial courts during the years 
1841-1842 to 1849-1850, were included in an account of 
the condition of the kingdom for the period 1840 to 1850; 
figures for the years 1850 to 1859 for criminal statistics, and 
from 1850-51 to 1858-59 for civil statistics, in the account 
(I'Expose) for the period 1850 to 1860. Meanwhile, the 


figures for the first half of the decade were also published in 
the statistical collection published by the Minister of the 

Beginning with 1860, the judicial statistics were again 
made the object of special publications, relating to both 
criminal actions and civil and commercial actions. Four 
volumes appeared in succession, embracing, first, the years 
1861 to 1867*; second, the years 1868 to 1875; third, the 
years 1876 to 1880; fourth, the years 1881 to 1885. 

All the statistics published up to this time were no more 
than a resume of those compiled by the various tribunals or 
judicial oflfices. Between 1844 and 1849 it was thought 
best, in order to facilitate the task of the compilers, to re- 
quire them to copy daily in the registers sent them by the 
Minister of Justice such matters as would be included in the 
principal statistical tables. This system did not produce 
all of the results that were expected, especially in the matters 
relating to criminal statistics. On the other hand, the 
publications conforming to those of French criminal statis- 
tics gave the individual characteristics of the delinquents 
and the causes of crime in insuflBcient detail. The reform of 
judicial statistics was made the subject of an investigation 
about 1890; but this reform was not actively prosecuted 
until 1896, under the direction of our learned colleague, M. 
Ch. De Lannoy. The result was a complete revision of the 
framework, of the methods of compilation, and of the plan 
of publication. Since 1898 the judicial statistics had ap- 
peared annually, t From the beginning the reform concerned 
itself only with trial courts and courts of judgment. Act- 
ually it included besides judicial statistics, properly so called, 
the statistics of prisons, those of vagrancy, of pauperism, of 
child protection, of deaf-mutes, of the blind, and of the 
insane. The courts, the prosecutors and the trial judges 

* The new penal code was promulgated in 1867. 

t In order to facilitate the transition between the old and the new publica- 
tions, there was published for the twelve years included between 1885 and 1898 
a statistical resume of the activity of the civil and criminal courts. 


are no longer called upon to furnish criminal statistics, ex- 
cept facts of an administrative kind. The data relating to 
condemned persons, to their antecedents, to the penalties 
they have incurred, are derived directly by the Bureau of 
Statistics of the Ministry of Justice from the briefs in the 
pigeon-holes of the courts. 

This method gives all the necessary guarantees of accuracy 
and gives to the judicial statistics designated "criminal 
statistics" a special value from the scientific point of view. 

The Bureau of Labor has brought an important contribu- 
tion to social statistics through its general inquiries and 
monographs on wages, and on the hours of labor of wage 
earners in industry. The general Census of October 31, 
1896, attempted to collect circumstantial data relating to 
rates of wages by means of a questionnaire addressed to all 
employers. The heads of business concerns were invited 
to give, separately, for male and female wage earners, ages 
over sixteen years and under sixteen years, and by kind of 
employment for each classification of wage earners, the 
total wages paid, at the last normal payment, the number of 
wage earners between whom this sum was divided, the total 
number of days work. By normal pay was understood that 
which had not been affected by any external events such as 
strikes, stoppages for repairs, etc. If the last payment had 
not been normal, it was necessary to choose a former pay- 
ment conforming to that requirement. 

The questionnaire required, besides, the facts relating to 
extra payments, bonuses, participation in profits, and other 
advantages, and particularly the method of fixing wages 
(by the hour, by the day, by the task, by the piece or by the 

This method, which represented a great improvement over 
the methods previously employed, still did not make it 
possible to study the effective distribution of wages in the 
class of wage earners, for in the same special line of work 
there are numerous differences between individuals in the 


matter of wages. The statistics of wages were compiled 
by the aid of two supplementary operations: the forms of 
the small industries (up to twenty wage earners) were sent 
back to the employers and they were invited to subdivide 
the occupational classifications into as many groups as 
there were different rates of wages. 

For the establishments which did not fall under the head- 
ing of small industries, the statistics of wages were compiled 
by agents from the Bureau of Labor, who were charged with 
the collection, from the pay-roll of the actual wages of the 

The purpose of these supplementary statistics was to de- 
termine with absolute exactness the daily wages of the 
wage earners affected, to the end of the month of October, 
1896, and to work out the number of hours during which 
they were normally occupied during that period. The notion 
of an average wage was therefore completely disregarded. 

In this way the wages of 671,511 wage earners were col- 
lected and it has been possible to determine exactly the actual 
daily wage of 612,892 of these, from the pay-roll of the em- 
ployer. We do not know of another example of so de- 
tailed statistics of wages, nor so extensive, considering that 
the total number of wage earners included in the census 
exceeded 671,000. 

In the coiu"se of the inquiry into wages, considerable 
modifications took place in the rates of wages of workers in 
coal mines. The Bureau of Labor decided to fix, by means 
of a supplementary inquiry, the direction and extent of the 
variations reported in this particular field. The results 
were published in 1901, under the title "Statistique des 
salaires dans les mines dehouille" (Statistics of wages in 
coal mines. October, 1896, May, 1900). 

Finally, to complete the facts previously gathered, the 
Bureau of Labor undertook a new inquiry concerning wages 
in textile industries, as of October 31, 1901, and a second 
inquiry relating to the wages in metal industries, as of 
October 31, 1903. These inquiries, following the census 


method of 1896, endeavored to find the individual wages 
and abandoned the notion of an average wage. A special 
agent of the Biu-eau of Labor visited all the establishments 
employing more than ten wage earners, a Kst of which had 
been prepared through the aid of the archives of the census 
of 1896; 709 firms were thus visited in the textile industry, 
and in only nine among these was an answer refused to the 
agent of the Bureau of Labor. Everywhere else the data 
relating to the rates of wages were taken from the pay-rolls 
of the employers and in most cases the facts were copied 
personally by the agent of the Bureau of Labor. The wages 
of 71,512 wage earners in the textile industry were thus de- 
termined and compared with those of 1896. The same 
methods were adopted for the inquiry relating to the wages 
in the metal industries, in the course of which data were 
collected relating to the wages of 84,136 wage earners, 
grouped in 1,083 estabHshments. 

The statistics of industrial accidents may be considered 
in social statistics, although in certain of their aspects they 
equally concern economic statistics. The Bureau of Labor 
published in 1912 the first return relating to this important 
problem which has appeared in Belgium. The method 
followed has recently been set forth in that publication in 
great detail, making it unnecessary for us to here describe 
it otherwise than very briefly. 

The reparation made for industrial accidents is regulated 
by a law of December 24, 1903. By virtue of this law the 
institutions which have assumed the UabiKty of the em- 
ployers are required to collect all the facts relating to these 
accidents and their results, and to communicate them to the 
Biu-eau of Labor. This oflSce thus disposes of the complete 
material gathered according to instructions and controlled 
by itself. 

The first results of the statistics of industrial accidents 
appeared in 1912. The Bureau of Labor has taken care to 
estabhsh the industrial divisions in such manner as to make 
it possible to calculate the risk peculiar to each industry; 


and the enterprises which employ a motor have been sep- 
arately compiled. Special attention has been given to the 
nomenclature of industries so as to group homogeneous 
risks; finally, the study of accidents has been made in ac- 
cordance with the classification of the wage earners by age 
and by rates of wages. 

There remain to be mentioned in this domain the statis- 
tics of strikes and lockouts published by the Bureau of Labor, 
but we omit to analyse them as it would unduly extend this 

III. Officyial Statistical Publications of Belgium. 18S0-19H, 

The list of statistical publications appearing in Belgium 
has been prepared by the Department of General Statistics, 
established in the Ministry of the Interior, and appear in 
the Statistical Annual of Belgium for 1914. The list stops 
with the year 1910; we have completed it down to April 30, 
1914. (See page 166 et seq.) 

Chapter III. The Future of Statistics 

While it is not always easy to describe in the form of a 
r^sum^ a system as old, varied and complex as the statistics 
of Belgium, one can nevertheless try to present a statement 
as accurate and impartial as possible. But those who have 
taken it upon themselves to collect this series of articles 
expect something more of us; they desire that the authors 
of the descriptive memoirs express their views as to the 
future development of statistics. The science which we 
cultivate is the first to warn us against the dangers of prophe- 
cies. The thankless r61e of a prophet does not tempt us. 
We do not know along what lines the statistics of Belgium 
will develop and toward what ideal they will tend. We shall 
simply indicate in what direction they could, according to 
our judgment, reach their fullest development. 

If one studies the list of statistical publications which 
have appeared in Belgium, one can hardly forbear homage 


to the industry, ingenuity and perseverance which was 
needed to accumulate such a wealth of information. The 
works published by our administrative services are many 
and various; they embrace the most diverse aspects of social, 
economic and moral activity. The origin of a great many of 
them dates back to the very first years of our political inde- 
pendence, and one must admire the pluck of the provisional 
government, not yet any too firmly estabhshed after the 
revolution of 1830, which at that critical moment decreed 
the establishment of a statistical office, thereby expressing 
its faith in the continuity and success of the task of national 

Many of our statistics have had in their time the merit of 
novelty. The industrial and agricultural censuses of 1846 
served for a long time as models which in their day and man- 
ner enriched the statistical methods with a multitude of 
ideas and interesting and novel methods. Special merit 
may be claimed for the boldness and novelty of the statistics 
of wages of the industrial census of 1896, so perfectly planned 
by our colleague, and at that time co-worker, M. Em. Wax- 
weiler, statistics which furnished the most reliable data on 
the wages of 612,892 laborers out of 671,596 enumerated. 
The statistics of industrial accidents have certainly bene- 
fited, as was to be expected from the acquired experience; 
the revision and presentation of the material have been 
considerably improved upon and the financial aspect of the 
problem has been elucidated by the great attention to detail 
and accuracy. Finally, it is worthy of notice that, in that 
part of the industrial and commercial census which has just 
appeared and which deals with occupations, there is to be 
found the most detailed information relating to incidental 
occupations and to the migration of laborers, a phenomenon 
so interesting to trace in a small country like Belgium where 
the means of transportation are numerous and inexpensive. 

These opinions of things with which we are most familiar 
by no means exclude a similar opinion on any other division 
of Belgian statistics. 


We have had in Belgium an illustrious statistician, a man 
of many excellent parts. The name of Quetelet is too well 
known to need recalling, but through the rays of his glory 
one may discover some stars whose brilUancy is dimmed by 
that of this eminent savant. 

Statistical science has brought out in Belgium a group of 
remarkable men who have given us a large number of val- 
uable works, some of which are beyond compare. 

A general view, however, of the development of Belgian 
statistics does not leave one with an unreservedly favorable 

While certain divisions of the statistics are treated in a 
comprehensive and methodical manner, others are of a more 
fragmentary character and without a definite plan. Omis- 
sions and duplication caused by lack of coordination between 
the different ministerial departments are frequently met 
with. Certain branches of statistics are entirely neglected, 
as, for instance, financial statistics. Others, started many 
years ago, have made no progress and have not been devel- 
oped, such as the statistics of industrial production. In 
one and the same ministerial department several oflBces are 
occupied with statistics, and jealously defend their admin- 
istrative functions to the neglect of harmony between their 
methods and definitions. Such lack of "team-play" mili- 
tates directly against the perfecting of the personnel and the 
material, and the employment of costly machinery, the use 
of which is recognized as necessary. 

The Belgian statistics are decentralized. We do not 
speak merely of that form of archaic decentralization which 
is now found only in a few isolated cases. In those in- 
stances the communal administrations publish their own 
statistical reports, which the central office, after a purely 
arithmetical verification, file away without being able to 
verify their accuracy. 

If this method may be defended in very large countries, 
such is not the case in Belgium where the statistical mate- 


rial is not so extensive that its compilation and tabulation in 
a central office is impracticable. 

The decentralization which we have in mind concerns the 
division of the work between nine or ten ministerial depart- 
ments. We have seen that this was regretted by Quetelet. 
At present the demographic statistics are assigned to the 
Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry of Finance has 
charge of the commercial statistics and shipping; and this 
same department also concerns itself with certain industries 
and publishes yeports on the sea fisheries which are really 
collected by the Department of Marine. The judicial sta- 
tistics are compiled by the Ministry of Justice together with 
certain other more or less unexpected schedules, such as the 
statistics of the insane, deaf-mutes, blind persons, and bank- 

The Department of Highways deals with land and water 
transportation, and the Department of Railways has charge 
of transportation by rail. The labor statistics are taken care 
of by the Department of Labor, but several other offices of 
the Ministry of Industries and Labor concern themselves 
with related questions, etc. 

Briefly, it is always difficult to know exactly which minis- 
terial department has charge of collecting and publishing 
data in any one division of statistics. 

The advantages which would accrue from a centralization 
of statistical operations are scientific, administrative and 

(a) Unity of methods, comparative statistical criticism, 
elimination of duplication, a common working plan, perfect 
regularity of the publications in the different departments, 
are not possible except under a centralized system. 

The Statistical Central Commission had for its very pur- 
pose the realization of a general management and, to a cer- 
tain extent, of a uniform plan of execution. But too often 
this program is still no more than a theory. There are 
numerous reasons in law and fact which explain why this is so. 
It is left to the discretion of the heads of the ministerial de- 


partments as to when to consult the Statistical Central Com- 
mission with regard to work which they intend to undertake, 
or to propose modifications which they consider desirable 
of a plan previously adopted. On its part, the commission 
can only deplore the absence of statistics which they regard 
as interesting but which they have neither the means to 
realize themselves nor to obtain through others. These un- 
fortunate circumstances are responsible for the lack of a 
imiform plan apparent in the mass of our publications. The 
Statistical Central Commission has always shown great activ- 
ity, but it can not exceed its authority, nor increase its powers. 

(b) Instead of having a number of unimportant and in- 
conspicuous statistical offices, mere pawns on the adminis- 
trative chess board, centralization would give us an influen- 
tial administration which could defend its views and obtain 
their acceptance. 

The funds appropriated could be better distributed and 
be used to better advantage than under the present system; 
it is even probable that substantial economies could be 

The greatest advantage, however, would be that a cen- 
tralized service would have at its disposal a methodically 
trained office force familiar with its special needs and work- 
able to its maximum of efficiency. No office in Belgium 
commands a force large enough to undertake an important 
task, recurring periodically, such as a census. 

We should also obviate the difficulty arising from the 
employment of a temporary force for work of this kind, 
selected from motives quite foreign to statistics. At best, 
the least objectionable course would suggest a few months' 
education for newcomers, and there would still be found 
unassimilable elements among them. In Belgium there are 
no special proofs of aptitude required before admission to the 
departments which deal with one or the other branch of 
statistics. The titles, salaries, promotions, are the same as 
those adopted for other administrative services. While indi- 
viduals have made statistical science their vocation by spe- 


cializing in scientific researches, others may have come into 
the service through accidental administrative combinations, 
or in the hope of improving their position. It is possible 
to conceive of a more methodical organization. 

The education of the professional statistician ought to be 
general and special. A statistician can acquire a general 
education in a university course comprising philosophy, 
pohtical economy or mathematics; a fit discipline in the 
development of the reasoning faculties. None of these 
studies should exclude the others; of matheniaticians we 
would require as thorough a study of logic as of pohtical 
economy; of economists should be demanded a knowledge 
of certain branches of mathematics; and of doctors of philos- 
ophy a knowledge of the conceptions of political economy 
and mathematics. 

The training of the statistician should be special, like that 
in the professions. 

The central statistical service should have as many sections 
as there are divisions or applications: demography, moral 
statistics, social statistics, economic statistics, financial and 
administrative statistics. The whole service should be 
under an official bearing the title Director General or Presi- 
dent: and at the head of each section should be a statistician 
with the rank of Director. No one should be appointed to 
take charge of a section without having worked in each other 
section long enough to acquii-e a practical knowledge of the 
different methods. One or two assistant statisticians would 
have to assist the head of a section in directing the work of 
the clerks; these assistants should be chosen from clerks who 
have shown special aptitude and efficiency in actual statis- 
tical work. 

This organization would not be complete, however, if it 
did not succeed in establishing a firm and durable link be- 
tween itself and the intellectual classes of the country. The 
thing most lacking in our statistical offices, which are, so to 
speak, dovetailed into a congeries of administrative insti- 
tutions, is sufficient contact with the public, a defect which 



is largely responsible for the manifest indifiFerence to statistics 
on the part of the masses. An eminent statistician, M. de 
Foville, once said "there are even today many people who 
seem to think that statistics are for the exclusive use of statis- 
ticians — an error like that of believing that bread is made for 
the bakers only." If this error has spread, it is because 
everything has been done to bring it into being and nothing 
neglected to foster it. Those who ultimately use statistics 
are legion, but they are carefully kept away from statistical 
oflBces and do not succeed in making their demands heard, 
and receive but tardy and incomplete satisfaction. The 
central statistical oflSce should keep in intimate and contin- 
uous contact with industrial, commercial and financial 
interests; it should be carefully informed on subjects and 
questions of special interest to these groups. It should place 
at the disposal of the cities and communities of the nation 
all the information which concerns them; and it should pub- 
lish a periodical for quick information kept well up to date 
on all economic, financial, demographic and moral phenom- 
ena. This task would fall chiefly upon the president of the 
oflBce, who should be a young, active, clear-headed man. The 
central statistical service ought also to be accessible to stu- 
dents of political economy and statistical science in the 
Universities and commercial high schools. We have in 
Belgium five or six courses in statistics with many students. 
But how many of these have a clear idea of an analysis, of 
the advantage of this method, or that machine? What we 
are striving for is not merely, as M. Waxweiler would have it, 
to found a seminary from which the future functionaries 
can be recruited. Our aim is more far-reaching; our ob- 
jective broader. We would initiate our future men of 
affairs, bankers, merchants, manufacturers, into the methods 
and resources of statistics so that all would seriously make 
use of them. 

In other words, the central statistical service ought to be 
a veritable scientific laboratory where anyone who so desires 
can come and work. It is remarkable that the utilization 


of published statistics is generally narrowly restricted. Too 
often the analyses and deductions are dry and lacking life 
and detail. It is almost impossible that it should be other- 
wise, for a single author has neither the time nor the inclina- 
tion to illuminate and enlarge upon the aspects of the prob- 
lems for which the statistics oflfer or ought to offer a solution. 
All this would be different if a movement were stirred up 
among the intellectual classes of the country and the young 
students were encouraged to come and work in the offices of 
the central service, and to extract from the official publica- 
tions all the conclusions they contain. Carefully compiled 
statistics contain a wealth of information; but too often they 
remain unused or are used in an incomplete or biassed fashion. 
We are, therefore, of the opinion that official statistics should 
be so presented as to allow of their largest possible use, that 
the summaries be numerous and detailed, that the original 
documents be always at the disposal of investigators and, 
finally, that the administration limit itself to drawing general 
conclusions from its works, but take good care to popularize 
and distribute them, stimulating a scientific rivalry among 
the learned public with the view to develop them and go to 
the bottom of things. 

In a centralized system of statistics the institution of the 
Central Commission, as it is organized in Belgium, loses its 
raison d'itre. And yet, the existence of a consulting body 
is absolutely indispensable to the control of the central serv- 
ice, and to the maintenance of a permanent Hnk between 
the departmental administrations and the statisticians. 

The Central Commission should be transformed into a 
Superior Council of Statistics. It should be composed of 
scientific and administrative experts, appointed by the king 
upon the recommendation (with a certain number of votes) 
of the learned bodies, all the section chiefs and the president 
of the central service taking equal part in it. 

We have questioned our colleagues, professors of Belgian 
statistics, as to the advantage of centrahzation and as to the 
qualifications needed in statistical officials. Among the 


replies received we note the following which comes from M. 
Waxweiler and which we quote in part, verbatim : 

The Director and his co-workers must hold a university diploma vouching not 
only for statistical science but also for general attainments in social sciences in 
general. Moreover, they must have passed through the administrative routine or 
have had a sufficient experience in the conduct of a complete statistical inquiry, that 
is to say, from its inception to its readiness for publication. 

The University training, so far as it deals with statistical science, must not only 
extend to the study of statistical processes, such as the theory of probabilities and 
the mathematical analysis of fluctuations, but it must also concern itself with the 
study of statistics already published and must include the personal preparation ot 
two or three works on applied statistics. 

Moreover, there ought to be some means of assuring to the management of the 
Statistical Bureau as much freedom as possible from the administrative atmosphere. 

M. Waxweiler suggests, for instance, such means as the 
formation of a hbrary attached to the general management, 
the organization of periodical meetings of the chiefs of the 
service, the institution of a "seminaire," the assignment of 
the execution of certain investigations to all the co-workers, 
the assurance, to each collaborator in an investigation, that 
his name and personahty will be made known. 

One thus sees that our eminent colleague suggests a large 
number of measures of which we have already approved or, 
at least, he indicates plans similar to many of those which 
we have advocated. At the same time we would suggest 
the one exception that the Central Bureau, and that alone, 
ought to assume the responsibility for the investigations 
undertaken and the work published. In statistical matters 
the aids which are rendered to the author of the program or 
to him who directs the investigations are so numerous and 
important that it would be a real injustice to give credit to 
any one person, no matter how interesting he may be. 

(c) From the practical standpoint: 

At present, being divided among the different ministerial 
departments, the statistical offices possess but mediocre 
resources and a fortuitous equipment. The way they are 
organized presents a direct and insurmountable obstacle to 
the improvement of the statistical mechanical appliances. 
A complete installation of all the machinery used in other 


countries would be ruinous; moreover, this mechanism would 
not really pay unless it were used continuously, upon a large 
scale and with a view to intensive production, conditions 
which can, of course, exist only under a centralized system. 
We will not speak of the oflSces which are rarely suited to 
their purpose. 

The simpHfication which would result from centralization, 
the econpmy in personnel, in time and in money would more 
than pay for the initial expenditure. 

We would like to see the Statistical Central Service housed 
in a large building away from the beaten track in attractive 
surroundings, on simple and harmonious lines. We have 
in mind a building with a central front part set off by a few 
steps leading to an entrance hall, the directors' office and 
waiting room on either hand. In the background there 
would be a spacious semi-circular library with galleries; from 
this semi-circle five or six spacious wings should radiate on 
a fanlike plan. Each of these wings would be occupied by a 
special branch of statistics, such as demography, social and 
economic statistics, etc. At the ends nearest the semi-circle, 
containing the library, are the offices of the chiefs of the 
respective branches. From these offices the wings increase 
in width towards their farther end, dovetail fashion, and 
should all be connected by a glazed corridor affording easy 
communication. The side walls should contain no windows 
but be left free for papers and books. The lighting should 
come from above. Instead of a second floor there would be 
a large basement court surrounded by petty offices and 
approached by ramps. In this basement there would be 
iron shelves for statistical material, the archives and book- 
storage. Here also would be the sanitary arrangements, a 
sterilization room for documents, vacuum cleaning and 
central heating systems, and electric elevators to carry bulle- 
tins about the work rooms. 

This is our conception of the future of statistics. The 
reality is still far distant; but let us bear in mind that to- 
day's dream has often become tomorrow's reality. 

May 1, 1914. 

LA BELGIQUE DE 1830 X 1914 


Documents atatistiques sur le Royaume de Belgigue, recueillis et publics par le 
Ministre de I'lnt^rieur. 

3» publication officielle. 1836, 1 volume; 4» publication officielle. 1838, 1 vol- 
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Documents statistiques publics parle D^partement de I'IntSrieur avec le concours 
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Tome 1, 1857; tome II, 1858; tome III, 1859; tome IV, 1860; tome V, 1861; tome 
VI, 1862; tome VII, 1863; tome VIII, 1864; tome IX, 1865; tome X, 1866; tome 
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Annuaire statistique de la Belgigue (Minist&re de I'lnt&ieiU', Administration de la 
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Bulletin trimestriel public par le Bureau de la Statistique generale du Minist^re de 
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IUsum,S des rapports sur la situation administrative des provinces et des communes 
de Belgigue pour 1840, presente au Roi par le Ministre de I'lutfirieur. 1841, 1 
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Expose de la situation du Royaume (pSriode dScenncde de 18^1-1850), public par 
le Ministre de I'lntfirieur, 1852, 1 volimie. 

Id. (piriode dScennale 1851-1860). 1865, 3 volumes. 

Id. de 1861 & 1875, publie par les soins de la Commission centrale de statistique, 
1885, 2 volumes. 

Id. de 1876 & 1900, redige sous la direction de la Commission centrale de statis- 

Tome I, 1907; tome II, 1912; tome III, 1914. 

Bulletin de la Commission centrale de statistique (Ministere de I'lntdrieur. Admin- 
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Tome I, 1843; tome II, 1845; tome III, 1847; tome IV, 1851; tome V, 1853; tome 
VI, 1855; tome VII, 1857; tome VIII, 1860; tome IX, 1866; tome X, 1866; tome 
XI, 1869; tome XII, 1872; tome XIII, 1878; tome XIV, 1881; tome XV, 1883; 
tome XVI, 1890; tome XVII, 1897 (avec en annexe Y Album de statistique graphique. 
— Demographic et hygiine de la ville de Bruxelles — par M. le docteur E. Janssens) ; 
tome XVIII, 1904; tome XIX, 1906; tome XX, 1909. 


Statistique territoriale du Royaume de Belgigue, bas^e sur les r&ultats des opera- 
tions cadastrales executles jusqu'^ la fin de 1834, publiee par le Ministre des Fi- 
nances. 1839-1853, 2 volumes. 

Recherehes sur la reproduction et le mortalitS de I'hom/me aux diffSrents Ages et sur la 
popvlaiion de la Belgigue d'apris le recensement de 1829, par MM. A. Quetelet et 
Ed. Smits. 1" recueil officiel, 1832, 1 volume. 


Population. Recensement ghiSral (15 octobre 1846), public par le Ministre de 
rintfirieur. 1849, 1 volume. 

Id. (31 dfcembre 1856). 1861. 1 volume. 

Id. (31 d^cembre 1866). 1870, 1 volume. 

Tableau de le population du Royaume (population de residence habituelle, dite de 
droit) d^termin^e par le recensement g£n€ral du 31 dScembre 1876 (Miniature de 
rint^rieur). 1877, 1 volume. 

Population. Recensement gSniral (31 d6cembre 1880), public par le Ministre de 
rinterieur. 1884, 1 volume. 

Id. du 31 d6cembre 1890. 1893, i volumes. 

Id. du 31 d^cembre 1900. 1903, i volumes. 

Id. du 31 decembre 1910. 1913, 2 volumes (un volume reste k paraltre). 

Population. Relev6 dScennal 1831 & ISlfi. — Mouvement de VUat civil de 1840 — 
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Population. Mouvement de I'^at civil pendant I'annee 1841, public par le Min- 
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Id. pendant I'ann^e 1842, 1844, 1 volume; ann€e 1843, 1844, 1 volume; ann^e 
1844, 1845, 1 volume; annte 1845, 1846, 1 volume; annfie 1846, 1848, 1 volume; 
ann^ 1847, 1843, 1 volume; ann€e 1848, 1849, 1 volume; ann^e 1849, 1850, 1 vol- 
ume; ann£e 1850, 1851, 1 volume. 

Staiistique du mouvement de I'Mat civil et de la population du Royaume pen- 
dant les ann^s 1867 k 1881 (Extrait du tome XV du Bulletin de la Commission 
eentrale de staiistique). 1883, 1 volume. 

Id. pendant I'annte 1882 (Ministfire de I'lnterieur. Extrait du Moniteur beige). 
1883, 1 volume; annee 1883, 1884, 1 volume; ann£e 1884, 1885, 1 volume; 
annee 1885, 1886, 1 volume. 

RelevS officiel du chiffre de la population du Royaume par pi-ovisce, par arrondisse- 
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rinterieur. Extrait du Moniteur beige du 14 juillet 1887). 1887, 1 brochure. 
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StatisHque du mouvement de la population et de Vital civil en 1890 (Minist^re de 
rinterieur. Administration de la Statistique Gdn^rale). 1895, 1 volume. 

Id. en 1900, 1904, 1 volume. 

Htoienb. Statistique Medicale. 

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annfies 1862 k 1867. 1871, 1 volume; p^riode de 1870-1874. 1877, 1 volume; 
periode de 1876-1879. 1883, 1 volume; p&iode de 1880-1884. 1886, 1 volume. 
Publication annuelle k partir de 1885 (Miuist^re de la Guerre). 

Conseil supirieur d'hygihie pubtique. Rapports adressSs au Gouvemement 
(MinistSre de I'lnterieur. Administration du service de sante et de I'hygi&ne). 

Tome I, annees 1849-1855 k tome XVII, 1908-1909; tomes XVIII et suivants: 
im volume annuel. 

Rapports des commissions medicates provindales sur leurs travaux pendant les 
anuses 1859 k 1868, 1881 et suivantes (les anndes 1869 k 1880 n'ont pas paru). 
Publication annuelle (Miniature de I'lnterieur. Administration du service de 
sante et de I'hygiene). 


Bulletin sp6eial du service de sanU et de Vhygihne publigue. Annies 18!)3 et 1894 
(Bulletin mensuel). 

Bulletin du service de santS et de I'hygiene publigue. Annees 1895 4 1905 (Bulletin 

Bulletin du service de santi et de Vhygiine. Annies 1906 et 1907 (Bulletin mensuel) . 

Bulletin de V Administration du service de santi et de I'hygiene. Annees 1908 et 
suivantes (Bulletin mensuel). 

Bulletin du service de surveillance de la fabrication et du commerce des denrSes 
alimentaires. Compte-rendu mensuel des mesures prises par le Gouvernement en 
execution de la loi du i aodt 1890 ainsi que des efifets produits par ces mesures. 

Annte 1893 a 1907. Depuis le 1"- Janvier 1908, ces renseignements sont publics 
dans le Bulletin de V administration du service de santi et de I'hygiene. 

Bulletin sanitaire. Public tous les jeudis ou tons les 15 jours depuis 1901; la 
1" ann6e, 1901, a paru en annexe au Bulletin du service de santi et de I'hygiene pub- 

Introduction k VAnnuaire sanitaire de la Belgique (Situation au 1<" Janvier 1912) 
Bruxelles, 1913. 


Etat de I'instruction supirieure en Belgique. Rapport pr6sent6 aux Chambres 
legislatives, le 6 avril 1843, par M. Nothomb, Ministre de I'lnterieur. P^riodes 
1794-1814, 1814-1830, 1830-1835, 1835-1843, 1844, 2 volumes. 

Rapport sur la situation des universitSs de I'Etat. Rapport annuel aux Chambres 
en execution de I'article 30 de la loi du 27 septembre 1835 sur I'enseignement supfiri- 
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Etat de I'instruction supirieure donnie aux frais de I'Etat. Premier rapport 
triennal presents aux Chambres legislatives. Annfies 1849-1852. 1854, 1 volume. 

Situation de I'enseignement supirieur donni aux frais de I'Etat. Rapport triennal 
pr&ent^ aux Chambres legislatives (Minist^re des Sciences et des Arts) . Piriode 
1853-1855 et suivantes. 

Etat de I'instruction moyenne en Belgique. 1830-1842. Rapport pr6sent6 aux 
Chambres legislatives, le 1™ mars 1843, par M. Nothomb, Ministre de I'lnterieur. 
Precede d'un expose de la legislation anterieure k 1830 et suivi du texte des lois, 
arrfitfe et circulaires de 1815 k 1842. 1843, 1 volume. 

Id. 1842-1848. Rapport pr&ente le 20 juin 1849. 1849, 1 volume. 

Rapport triennal sur I'itat de I'enseignement moyen en Belgique. Pr6sent6 aux 
Chambres legislatives (Ministere des Sciences et des Arts). Periodes 1852-1854 
(1=) et suivantes. 

Etat de I'instruction primaire en Belgique, 1830-1840. Rapport d^cennal prd- 
sente aux Chambre legislatives, le 28 Janvier 1842, par M. le Ministre de I'lnterieiu". 
Precede d'un expose de la legislation anterieure k 1830 et suivi du texte des lois, 
arrStes et circulaires de 1814 a 1840. 1842, 1 volume. 

Rapport triennal sur la situation de I'instruction primaire en Belgique. Presents 
aux Chambres legislatives (Ministere des Sciences et des Arts). Periodes 1843- 
1845 (1°) et suivantes. 

Recensement des iUves des itablissements d'instruction moyenne et primaire, soumis 
h I'inspection ligale au 31 dicembre 1873, 1 volume. 

Rapport sur I'enseignement induMriel et professionnel presente aux Chambres 


legislatives par le Ministre de rint^rieur. Annfe 1861-62 k 1865-66. 1867, 1 

Rapport suT I'&tat de V enseignement industriel el prcfessionnel, pr&ent^ le 23 Jan- 
vier 1879. 1879, 1 volume. 

Rapport sur la situation de V enseignement industriel et professionnel, pr^sent^ aux 
Chambres legislatives par le Ministre de rAgriculture, de I'lndustrie et des Travaux 
publics. Annies 1880-84. 1886, 1 volume.. 

Id. par le Ministre de I'lndustrie et du Travail. Annfes 1884-96. 1897, 1 

Rapport sur la situation de V enseignement technique en Belgique. Annies 1897- 
1901. 1903, 2 volumes. 

Rapport gin^al sur la situation de I' enseignement technique en Belgique. Annies 
1902-1910. 1912, 2 volumes. 

Rapport sur I'Mat de I' enseignement agricole, pr^sente aux Chambres legislatives 
par le Ministre de I'lnterieur. Annuel pour les annees 1861 k 1863. 

Situation de V enseignement agricole. Rapport triennal. P^riodes 1864-66 & 

Situation de V enseignement vMSrinaire et agricole. Rapport triennal (Ministfere de 
rAgricidture et des Travaux publics). Periodes 1891-93 et suivantes. 

fipAKGNE. Cooperation. Prevotance. 

Compte rendu prSsentS au Conseil d' administration de la Caisse g&nirale d'ipargne 
et de retraite. 15 septembre 1865, 31 decembre 1865 et 1866, puis volume annuel 
jusqu'en 1884. 

Compte rendu des operations et de la situation de la Caisse gSnirale de d'Spargne et 
de retraite. Annuel depuis 1885. 

Situation de la Caisse gSndrale d'Spargne et de retraite sous la garantie de I'Etai. 
Mensuelle, publiee au Moniteur beige. 

Les soeiMSs cooperatives en Belgique, 1873-1910 (Ministere de I'lndustrie et du 
Travail). 1911, un volume. 

Caisses de prhoyance enfaveur des ouvriers mineurs. Examen annual des comptea 
(Ministire de I'lndustrie et du Travail). 1" annee, 1846 pour les annees 1840 k 
1846; annuel depuis 1877. 

Rapport sur la Caisse de prSvoyance et de secours enfaveur des victimes des accidents 
du travail (Ministere des Finances) . Annuel, public au Moniteur beige. 

Coup d'ceil sur le nombre et la situation des socUMs de secours mutuels en Belgique 
au 31 d6cemhre 1860; suivi du texte de la loi du 3 avril 1851 et de I'arrfite royal 
du 6 octobre 1852, et de I'etat nominatif de ces societ^s par province (Commission 
permanente des societ^s de secours mutuels). 1864, 1 volume. 

Rapport sur les comptes. (Commission permanente des societes de secours mu- 
tuels). Annees 1852 k 1860. 

Rapport sur la situation des sociStSs de secours mutuels, presente par la Commission 
permanente des societes de secours mutuels. Un volume annuel de 1861 k 1871, 
puis les annees, 1872-1873, 1874-76, 1877-78, 1879, 1880-82, 1883-85, 1886-87, 
1888 — 90. Les rapports pour 1870, 1871, 1872-73, sont suivis d'un coup d'ceil sur 
la situation des banques populaires et des sodStis des consommation en Belgique et d 
I' Stranger et de quelques considSrations ginirales sur la situation de la classe ouvriire en 


Rapport sur la situation dea sociStSs mutualistes pendant les annSes 1891-95, pr4- 
sent£ au Ministre de I'lndustrie et du Travail par la Commission permanente dea 
soci^t^s mutualistes. 1897, 1 volmne. 

Rapport Ae la Commission permanente des soeiMis mutualistes pour la pSriode 1896- 
1905. 1906, 1 volume. 

Justice. Bientaisance. 

Staiistique des tribunaux de la Belgique pendant les annto 1826, 1827, lS28i 
1829 et 1830, par MM. A. Quetelet et Ed. Smits. 2» publication officielle. 1833. 
1 volume. 

Compte de l' administration de la justice civile en Belgique, pr6sent£ au Roi par le 
Ministre de la Justice. 

Annies judiciaires 1832-1833 k 1835-1836 (1 vol. en 1837); 1836-1837 k 1838- 
1839 (1 vol. en 1840); 1839-1840 k 1842-1843 1 vol. en 1845). 

Compte de l' administration de la justice criminelle en Belgique, pr^sent^ au Roi 
par le Ministre de la Justice. 

Annfes 1831 k 1834 (1 vol. en 1835); 1835 (1 vol. en 1839); 1836 k 1839 (1 vol. 
en 1843); 1840 k 1843 (1 vol. en 1849). 

Administration de la justice criminelle et civile de la Belgique. R4sum4 staiistique. 
Annies 1841-1850 (1 vol. en 1852. Extrait de I'ExposS dScennal de la situation du 
royaume); 1851-1860 (1 vol. en 1865. Extrait de YExposi dScennal de la situation 
du royaume); 1861-1867 (1 vol. en 1873); 1868-1875 (1 vol. en 1878); 1876-1880 
(1 vol. en 1883); 1881-1885 (1 vol. en 1888); 1886-1897 (1 vol. en 1898). 

Staiistique judiciaire de la Belgique. (Minist^re de la Justice.) Annuelle depuis 
1898, 1" annte. 

Staiistique des prisons de la Belgique. Periode 1841-1850, par M. Ed. Ducp^tiaux 
(1 vol. en 1852. Extrait de VExposS dScennal de la situation du royaume); 1851- 
1860 (1 vol. en 1864). 

Staiistique des prisons de la Belgique. P&iode 1851-1855 (1 vol. en 1857. 
Extrait des Documents statistiques publics par les soins du D^partement de 
rint^rieur) . 

Rapport prSsentS au Ministre de la Justice par I'Administrateur de la S-O/reti pub- 
lique et des prisons, le SI dScembre 1869. 

Staiistique des prisons et dea Hahlissementa phiitentiairea et de r^orme pour I'ann£e 
1875. Rapport pr^sentfi au Ministre de la Justice par M. Berden. 1877, 2 vol. 

Id. pour les annees 1876 et 1877, 1879, 1 volume. 

Staiistique des prisons et des maisons spSdales de rlforme, pour les ann^ 1878, 
1879 et 1880. Rapport pr&entfi au Ministre de la Justice par M. A. Gautier. 1884, 
1 volume. 

Rapport de la Commission sup$rieure d'inspection dea Stablissements d'aliinis, 
iostituee par arrSte royal du 18 novembre 1851. V ann^e 1862. 

Rapport de la Commission permanente d'inspection des Hahlissements d'alUnis, 
institute par arrgt6 royal du 17 mars 1853. 2", 1853-1864; 3«, 1864-1855; 4", 1856; 
5», 1867-1858; 6=, 1869; 7«. 1860; 8", 1862; 9», 1863-1865. 

Rapport sur la situation des Hahlissements d^aliinSa. 10", 1866-1871; 11', 1874- 
1876; 12«, 1877-1881; pr&ent& par V.-A. Oudart, inspecteur general. 13«, 1883- 
1892, presente par le Ministre de la Justice. 
Ecolea de rSforme de Ruysselede. Rapport fait per le Minbtre de la Justice, con- 


form^ment aux prescriptions de I'art. 9 de la loi du 3 avril 1848, et pr^entl aux 
Chambres legislatives le 23 Janvier 1850. 

Ecole de riforme de Ruysaelede. i° rapport sur la situation de I'Scole agricole de 
r4forme de Ruysselede pendant Tannic 18S0. 

Id. S' annfie, 1861. 

Scales agricoles de r^orme de Ruysselede et de Beemem. i' rapport sur la situa- 
tion des Icoles de reforme pendant I'annle 1832. 

Id. 5'. 1853; 6«, 1854; 7», 1855; 8«. 1856; 9«, 1867; 10«, 1868; 11", 1839; 12», 

Statistique des lib$raliMs au profit des Stablissements religieux et charitables pour 
les ann£es 1831 a 1849. Rapport au Roi du Mimstre de la Justice du 25 mai 1830. 

Id. poiu" les ann£es 1850 k 1853. Rapport du 6 mars 1854. 

Staiistique des hospices et des bureaux de bienfaisance d'apr^ les budgets de I'ex- 
ercice 1853, 1 volume. (Ministere de la Justice.) 


Tableau ghiSral du commerce de la Belgique avec les pays Strangers pendant les 
ann£es 1831, 1832, 1833 et 1834, dressi et public par le Ministre de I'lntlrieur. 
1" publication officielle, 1836, 1 volume. Successivement 7 publications o£ScielIes 
dont la demi^re, publi£e en 1842, comprend la statistique de I'annle 1840. 

Relmi du commerce de la Belgique avec les pays it/rangers pendant I'annte 1840, 
public par le Ministre des Finances (Publication pr£liminaire). 1841, 1 volume. 

Tableau ghUral du commerce de la Belgique avec les pays Hrangers. (Ministere 
des Finances) Annuel depuis 1841. 

Tableau du mouvement commercial de la Belgique avec les pays Hrangers, en ce qui 
conceme les principales marchandises. V annee 1840, jusqu'en 1895 inclusive- 
ment (Ministere des Finances. Annexe au Moniteur beige). Mensuel. 

Tableau mensuel du commerce special de la Belgique avec les pays Hrangers, en ce 
qui conceme les principales marchandises. V ann€e, 1896 (Ministere des Finances. 
Annexe au Moniteur beige). Fait suite au tableau precedent. 

Statistique du commerce special de la Belgique avec la France, la Grande-Bretagne 
et rirlande, les Pays-Bas et I'Union douanihe aUemande en 1908 et 1909, examine 
au point de vue de I'origine et du degri d'ach^vement des produits €chang£s. 1911, 
1 volume. (Ministere de I'lndustrie et du Travail.) 


Budgets annuels des recettes et des dipenses (Ministere des Finances). 

Compte ghdral de V Administration des Finances rendu pour I'annle 1830 par le 
Ministre des Finances. 

Cmnpte rendu des recettes et des d^penses du Boyaume. Annuel pour les ann€es 
1831 k 1849. 

Compte ghUral de V Administration des Finances. Annuel depuis I'annle 1860. 

Compte rendu par les ministres, en exScution des articles U et iS de la loi du 16 mai 
18iS, sur la comptabilitS de I'Etat. Annuel depuis I'exercice 1848. 

Situation gHSrale du Triaor Public au 1" Janvier. (Ministfere des Finances.) 

Statistique des recettes et des dSpenses du Royaume de Belgique. (Ministere des 
Finances.) 1840-1865, 1 volume; 1840-1870, 1 volume; 1840-1876, 1 volume; 
1840-1880, 1 volume; 1840-1885, 1 volume; 1840-1890, 1 volume; 1840-1896, 1 


Lot de comptes (MinistAre des Finances). 

Projet de hi apportani des modifications d, la Ugislation sur la contribution person- 
nelle et aux Icris Slectorales coordonnSes Tableaux statistiques. (Miniature des Fi- 
nances.) 1879, 1 volume. 

RelevS, par commune, des maisons imposies h la contribution fonciere au 1" Janvier 
1891. Present^ par le Ministre des Finances k la Chambre des Reprfsentants en 
annexe au document n° 261 de la session 1890-1891. 1891, 1 volume. 

Etat comparatif du produit des impots directs et indirects (trimestriel) public au 
Moniteur beige (Minist^re des Finances). 

Statistigue comparative des octrois eommunaux de Belgique pendant les annSes 1828, 
1829,1885 et 1836, publiee par le Ministre de I'lnterieur et des Affaires 6trang6res. 
1839, 1 volume. 

Rapport sur les octrois eommunaux de Belgigue, pr^sente 4. la Chambre des Reprfi- 
sentants, le 28 Janvier 1845, par M. Nothomb, Ministre de I'lnterieur. 1845, 2 
tomes en 5 volumes. 

Rapport du Commissaire des Monnaies au Ministre des Finances. Annuel depuis 

Rapport sur les operations de la Caisse d'amortissement, des dSpdts et consignations. 
Annuel. (Ministere des Finances.) 

Situation de la Caisse d'amortissement et de la Caisse des dSpots et consignations 
(semestrielle) publiee au Moniteur beige (Ministere des Finances). 

Bilan et compte des profits et pertes de la Banque Nationale de Belgique (semestriels) 
publie au Moniteur beige. 

Situation de la Banque Nationale de Belgique (hebdomadaire) publiee au Moniteur 

Tableau statistigue des magistrals, forictionnaires et employes oivils de I'Etat avec 
indication de la somme totale de leurs traitements (Ministere des Finances). 
Novembre 1855, 1" Janvier 1859, 1" Janvier 1865, 1870, 1876, 1880, 1885, 1890, 
1897, 1901, 1906, 1911. 

Les magistrats n'y sent compris que depuis 1885. 


Agriculture. Reeensement g&niral (15 octobre 1846), public par le Ministre de 
I'lnterieur, 1850, 4 volumes. 

Id. Resumes par arrondissements et par provinces. 1850, 1 volume. 

Id. (31 decembre 1856), 1862, 1 volume. 

Id. (31 decembre 1866), 1871, 1 volume. 

Id. de 1880, publie par le Ministre de I'Agriculture, de I'lndustrie et des Travaux 
publics, 1885, 1 volume. 

Id. de 1895, public par le Ministre de I'Agriculture et des Travatix publics, 
1898-1900, 4 volumes, partie analytique et un atlas. 

Id. de 1910, publie par le Ministre de I'Agriculture et des Travaux publics, 1914, 
1 volume paru. 

Reeensement agricole (Ministere de I'Agriculture et des Travaux publics) (annuel), 
annees 1900 a 1910. 

Bulletin de I'agricuUure, publie en execution de I'arrgte royal du 16 juillet 1885. 
Tome 1, 1885, h tome XXIII, 1907. 

Bulletin de V administration de I'agricuUure, publie en execution de I'arrete royal 
du 31 decembre 1907. Tome 1, 1908, a tome IV, 1911 (juin). 
















Bulletin de I'agriculture et de I' horticulture. Tome I, 1911 (juillet). Publication 

Renseignements statistigues concemant la situation des associations d'intSret agricole 
pendant les anuses 1895 et 1896. 1898, 1 volume. 

ExposS staHstique de la situation des assoeiations d'intSrSt agricole pendant les 
annees 1897 et suivantes. Brochure annuelle. 

Monographies agrieoles (publi^es a Toccasion du recensement de 1895) : 
1° Region des dunes, 1901. 
2° Id. des polders, 1902. 

de la Campine, 1899. 

sablouneuse des Flandres, 1900. 

limoneuse et sablo-limoneuse, 1901. 

du pays de Herve, 1900. 

du Condroz, 1900. 

de I'Ardenne, 1899. 

jurassique, 1901. 


Industrie. Recensement gSnSral (15 octobre 1846), public par le Ministre de 
rint^rieur. 1851, 1 volume. 

Industrie. Recensement de 1880. 1887, 3 volumes. 

Recensement gSnSral des industries et des metiers (31 octobre 1896), public par le 
Ministfere de I'lndustrie et du Travail. 1900-1903, 18 volumes plus I'atlas. 

Recensement de I'industrie et du Commerce (31 d^cembre 1910) public par le Minis- 
tAre de I'lndustrie et du Travail. 1914 (4 volumes parus). 

Mines, U sines miniralurgiques. Machines & vapeur. Rapport au Roi en 1842 
(Minist^re des Travaux publics). 1 volume. 

Id. annees 1839 k 1844. Compte rendu public par le Ministere des Travaux 
publics. 1846, 1 volume. 

Mines, miniires, usines min^ralurgiques et machines h vapeur. Annees 1845- 
1849. 1852, 1 volume; ann^e 1850. 1855, 1 volume; annees 1851-1855. 1858, 
1 volume. 

Statistigue des mines, minieres carrihes usines mMallurgiques et appareils a vapeur. 
Pout les annees 1865 k 1874, 1874, 1875, 1876 jusqu'en 1894, extraite des Annates 
des Travaux publics; et depuis 1895 jusqu'en 1900 des Annates des mines de Belgique. 

Statistigue des industries extractives et mHaUurgigues et des appareils d, vapeur en 
Belgique. Volume annuel depuis 1901. 

Annales des mines de Belgique, paraissant en 4 livraisons annuelles respective- 
ment dans les mois de Janvier, avril, juillet et octobre (Ministere de I'lndustrie et 
du Travail. Administration des Mines). 

La 1" annee a paru en 1896. , 

Enguete sur la condition des classes ouvrieres et sur le travail des enfants (Minis- 
tere de I'lnt^rieur). 1846-1848, 3 volumes. 

RSstiltai de I' enguete ouverte par les officiers du corps des mines sur la situation des 
ouvriers dans les mines et les usines nUtaUurgigties de la Belgigue, en execution de la 
circulaire adressde le 3 novembre 1868 par le Ministre des Travaux publics aux 
Ing^nieurs en chef des Mines. 1869, 1 volume. 

Salaires et budgets ouvriers, en Belgigue, au mois d' avril 1891. Renseignements 


fournis par les Conseils de I'lndustrie et du Travail (MinistSre de I'Agriculture, de 
rindustrie et des Travaux publics). 1892, 1 volume. 

Bulletin de I'mspection du travail. Publication mensuelle dont les 2 premieres 
annees (1894 et 1895) fonuent un recueil special et qui, depuis le 1" Janvier 1896, 
a 6t& incorpore dans la Revue du travail. 

Rapports annuels de I'inspection du travail, publics par TOffice du Travail. 1" 
ann£e, 1895. 

Revue du travail, publiee par I'OflSce du Travail. Mensuelle de 1896 k 1906 et 
bimensuelle depuis 1906. Edition flamande: Arbeidsblad depuis 1896. 

Travail du dimanche, public par I'OflSce du Travail 1896-1898. 5 volumes. 

Les Industries d. domicile en Belgique 1899-1909. Vol. X: £tude statistique des 
families ouvriferes comprenant des ouvriers k domicile. 1909, 1 volume. (9 vol- 
umes de monographies et 1 volume contenant la bibliographie de la matifere.) 

Bulletin de I'Office des classes moyennes, plus tard Bulletin de I'Office des mMiers et 
n&goces. Publication trimestrieUe. 1" ann6e, 1907. 

Enquite sur la piche maritime en Belgique. 

I. Litroduction. Recensement de la pSche maritime. 
II. Etude teonomique de la p6che maritime. 
III. Etude sociale de la pfiche maritime. 

Statistique des salairea dans les mines de houiUe (octobre 1896-mai 1900). 1901, 
1 volume. 

Salaires dans I'industrie gantoise. 1902-1904, 2 volumes: 
I. Industrie cotonni^re; 
II. Industrie de la filature du lin. 

Salairea et durSe du travail dans les industries textiles au mois d'octobre 1901. 
1905, 1 volume. 

Salaires et durh du travail dans les industries des milaux au mois d'octobre 1903. 
1907, 2 volumes. 

Statistique des grkes en Belgique. 1896-1900. 1903, 1 volume; 1901-1905. 
1907, 1 volume; 1896-1910. 1911, 1 volume. 

Mines. Statistique des accidents survenus dans les puits durant la ptriode de 1860 d 
1879, 1 volume. 

Rapport relatif & I' execution de la loi du 31 mars 1898 sur les unions professionnelUs 
pendant les ann£es 1898-1901. Pr&ent^ aux Chambres Legislatives par le Ministre 
de rindustrie et du Travail. 1904, 1 volume. 

Id. anuses 1902-1904. 1907, 1 volume. 

Id. annfes 1905-1907. 1911, 1 volume. 

Statistique des distributions d'inergie ilectrique en 1908. 1909, 1 volume. 

Statistique des accidents du travail (annte 1906). 2 volumes, 1912. 

Transports. Chemeus de per. Etc. Travatjx Publics. 

Annales des travaux publics en Belgique. — ^Mtooires, chroniques et comptes 
rendus d'ordre technique, administratif et statistique concemant les travaux pub- 
lics, du pays et de l'6tranger. 

Paraissent tons les deux mois depuis 1843 en fascicules de 200 pages illustrfes, 
avec planches hors texte. 

Renseignements statistiques recueillis par le D6partement des Travaux publics, 
1851-1855. 1857, 1 volume. 

Id., 1856 a 1867. 


Routes etb&timentsmmla. TravauxhydravMquei. Chemins de fer en construction. 
— Compte rendu des operations pendant les ann^es 1880 et 1881. 

Chemins vicinaux. — Rapport adress^ au Ministre de I'lnt^rieur sur I'inspection 
de chemins vicinaux des provinces de Limbouig, de Hainaut et de Brabant, 
op&r^e pendant I'ann^ 1851 par Bug. Bidaut, ing^nieur en chef. Un volume pr£- 
sent6 aux Chambres legislatives en stance du 3 f^vrier 1852. 

Carte figurative de V importance du roulage sur les routes de I'Etai en Belgique en 
1879 (Minist^ie des Travaux publics). 

Album du dhdoppement progressif du r&seau des routes de 1830 & 1880. — 7 planches. 
— Publi6 en 1880 (Ministere des Travaux publics). 

StatisHque du nwuvement des transports sur les voies navigables de la Belgique 
pendant le second semestre de 1879 (Ministere des Travaux publics). 1 volume et 
1 carte. 

Recueil descriptif et statistique des voies natdgables de la Belgique. — 1880, 2 volumes 
(Ministere des Travaux publics). 

Album du dSveloppement progressif du riseau des voies navigables de 1830 & 1880. 
7 planches. Public en 1880 (Ministere des Travaux publics). 

Album statistique des recettes et des dipensesfaites par I'Etat pour les voies navigables 
de la Belgique de 1830 & 1880 (Ministere des Travaux publics). 

Notice descriptive et statistique des installations maritimes de la Belgique. 1880 
(Ministere des Travaux publics). 

DiagrammiB figuralif du mouvement des transports sur les voies navigables de la 
Belgique en 1885 (Ministere des Travaux publics). 

Carte figurative du mouvement des transports sur les voies navigables de la Belgique 
en 1893 (Miniature des Travaux publics). 

Carte statistique de la navigation inUrieure sur les voies navigables de la Belgique 
et des pays limitrophes en 1910. (Dresste par I'Ecole Saint-Jacques des Bateliers 
if. Namur.) 

Chemins de fer de VEtat. — Compte rendu des opiralions. — ^Rapports des 4 aoftt 
1835, 1" mars 1837, 26 octobre 1837, 26 novembre 1838, et 12 novembre 1839. 

Annuel depuis 1840. 

On y a compris successivement le compte rendu des operations des t^lfigraphes 
depuis 1850, des postes depuis 1867 (le rapport pour 1867 donne un apergu des 
operations depuis 1830), la marine depuis 1873 (I'annee 1873 comprend quelques 
developpements retrospectifs), les telephones depuis 1883. 

Carte figurative de la circulalion des grosses marchandises sur les lignes de I'Etat, 
pendant I'annSe 1879 (Ministere des Travaux publics). 1 feuille. 

Dheloppement du mmivement postal en Belgique. — Nombre des lettres privees, 
des cartes postales, des joumaux et imprimes expedies atmuellement par la poste 
aux lettres. 1884, 1 feuille. 

CoiiOim: DU Congo Belge. 
Bulletin offidel de I'Etat Indipendant du Congo. 1* annee, 1885; devenu: 
Bulletin offidel du Congo beige k partir du 15 novembre 1908. 
Renseignements de I'Offi^e colonial. Annexe au Bulletin offidel de I'Etat InMpend- 

ant du Congo. 1" annee 1907. 
Annexe au Bulletin offidel du Congo Beige k partir du 15 novembre 1908 — devenu: 
Renseignements de I'Office colonial {publication spSdale) k partir du I" Janvier 1911. 





By Ernest H. Godfrey, F.S.S. 

Member of the International Statistical Institute; Editor, Census and Statistics 
Office, Ottawa, Canada 

7. Historical 

Necessarily the earliest statistics of a country relate to 
the enumeration of its people. When a nation begins to 
count, it exercises that faculty upon its population; and in 
Canada statistical records, limited in scope, it is true, exist 
from the very foundation of the white settlements in North 

The first record of population ia Canada relates to the 
foundation of Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal), Nova 
Scotia, in 1605, when there were 44 surviving settlers out 
of 79 who had wintered on the He Ste. Croix. Three years 
later (1608) Quebec was founded by Champlaiu, and 28 
settlers wintered there. Similar records exist for dates at 
varying intervals up to 1663 when the population of New 
France was recorded as 2,500, of whom 800 were in Quebec. 

To Canada belongs the credit of taking the first nominal 
census of modern times, that is to say, a record for each 
individual by name. This census was taken on the de jure 
principle during the months of February and March, 1666, 
for the year 1665, a date prior to any modern census, whether 
European or American. The returns occupy 154 pages of 
manuscript and are deposited in the Archives of Paris; but 
a transcript is preserved in the Archives at Ottawa. The 
population, according to this census, numbered 3,215, ex- 
clusive of the Royal troops, consisting of from 1,000 to 1,200 
men. The data collected embraced families, population, 
sexes, conjugal condition, ages of the people and professions 
and trades; so that the claim may fairly be made that this 


census was the precursor of the present elaborate enumera- 
tions of the people and of their resources, which take place 
at regular intervals in every civilized country. 

A similar census was taken two years later (1667), when 
the data collected were extended to include areas under 
cultivation and the numbers of cattle and sheep. A census 
was taken of Acadia (Nova Scotia) in 1671; but the total 
population then enumerated was only 441, while the land 
under cultivation was not more than 429 acres. Further 
censuses, both of New France and of other North American 
colonies, were taken at frequent but irregular intervals, and 
under conditions dependent upon political vicissitudes, until 
1851, when was taken the first of a series of decennial cen- 
suses maintained regularly ever since. 

For early records of the statistics of Canada reference may 
be made to the Report on the Census of 1871, the first to 
be taken after the Confederation of Canada in 1867. The 
census was taken under the direction of the late Dr. J. C. 
Tache, Deputy Minister of Agriculture; and Vol. IV of the 
report contains, besides a valuable historical introduction, 
the summaries of censuses taken at different periods in and 
for the territories then constituting the British North 
American Provinces. 

The first legislative attempt to bring under oflficial control 
the statistics of the country was made in 1847 by the creation 
of a Board of Registration and Statistics for the province of 
Ca,nada, which then embraced what are now known as the 
provinces of Quebec and Ontario. This board was originally 
composed of the Receiver General, the Provincial Secretary 
and the Inspector General; but in 1857 the Minister of 
Agriculture was substituted for the Inspector General, was 
made chairman of the board and was entrusted with execu- 
tive duties under the statutes by the board's direction. 
This explains the origin of the system under which until 
quite recently the census and the statistics of Canada were 
attached to the Ministry of Agriculture. 

In 1865 the portfolio of agriculture for the province of 


Quebec was held by the late Hon. T. D'Arcy McGee, who, 
with the able assistance of Dr. Tach6, made earnest and 
successful eflForts to introduce efficiency into the working of 
a department which had become sadly disorganized. The 
reorganization of the statistical work of the department 
was energetically undertaken, and the subject is referred to 
by the minister in his Annual Report for 1861. He there 
states that, by law, all ministers of religion in Upper Canada 
were required to deposit with the Clerks of the Peace dupli- 
cates of their registers of baptisms, marriages and burials 
and that the Clerks of the Peace were required to transmit 
them to the Provincial Secretary. He complains, however, 
that this law has practically remained a dead letter, the 
returns sent being of such a character as to be utterly useless 
for the purpose intended. 

To the minister's report is appended a strongly-worded 
Memorial to the Board of Registration and Statistics, 
written by the secretary, Dr. Tache, and dated January 17, 
1865.* In this memorial. Dr. Tache states that, according 
to the law originally enacted in 1847 (10 and 11 Vict., c. 14), 
the duties imposed upon the Board were "to collect sta- 
tistics and adopt measures for disseminating or publishing 
the same " ; an annual report of the statistics of the province 
was to be laid before the Legislature and a general census 
was to be executed every ten years. He complains that 
owing to various causes the purpose of the law had been 
entirely frustrated, and that there had been no statistics 
worthy of the name ever collected, and none at all published 
except such as were contained in the reports of the two 
Censuses of 1851 and 1860. His strictures with regard to 
the reports of those two censuses are very severe. He 
writes : 

After seventeen years of the existence of the Board of Statistics; after having 
kept up for that length of time a certain staff of officers; after having expended 
(besides the regular permanent departmental cost of maintenance) a round aggre- 

*Ileport for the year 1865 of the Minister of Agricultiure of the Province of Canada, 
pp. 16-18, 24-29, Ottawa, 1866. 


gate sum of a little more than $260,000 for the taking of two censuses, it is hard to 
come and say that our statistics have to be created; but it is the truth, however 
unpalatable. What is today called our statistics — I mean the Census Reports of 
1851 and 1860 — are fallacious statements, and not to be relied upon in any essential 
point. And really it would be more than wonderful if they were not so, knowing 
the circumstances under which they were taken and the system which presided 
over the whole proceeding. 

Of these two censuses he gives instances of what he des- 
cribes as "absurdities of the most ridiculous character." 
Thus figures are given which express absolute impossibilities, 
such as the reports of deaths as compared with the number 
of births on one side and the number of the whole population 
on the other. In 1851 the number of living children under 
one year of age is stated to be by many thousands greater 
than the total number of births of the whole of the then 
last twelve months. In 1860 all the births are made a part 
of the living population, as if there had been no still-born 
or no deaths accruing from that very number of births. 
Inconsistencies equally absurd are referred to in connection 
with the agricultural and industrial censuses; and finally it 
is stated that by addition the columns do not always agree : 
they sometimes agree in totals whilst they quite disagree 
in the details forming the elements of the calculation. Dr. 
Tach6 said he had learned, by consulting the traditions of 
the oflBce, that such a wonderful result was obtained by 
a high-handling of figures, called at the time "to make 
them correspond." 

The report concludes with the summary of a project for 
"creating real Canadian statistics," divided into nine parts, 
comprising (1) a preliminary numerical study of the country 
and its aboriginal population to the time of Champlain; (2) 
the statistics of the seventeenth century; (3) statistics of the 
eighteenth century to the capitulation in 1760; (4) statistics 
of the eighteenth century from 1760 to the division of Upper 
and Lower Canada in 1791 ; (5) statistics of the period of the 
separation of the Canadas, included between the years 1791 
and 1841; (6) statistics of the period comprised between 
the time of the Union (1841) and the taking of the first 


general census in 1851; (7) the Census of 1851 revised, 
corrected and annotated with miscellaneous statistics to 
the year 1860; (8) the Census of 1860 revised, corrected and 
annotated with miscellaneous statistics to the year 1870; 
and (9) report of the Census of 1870 ending the first series 
of Canadian statistics. 

"Such a mass," writes Dr. Tach6, "of well-prepared in- 
formation on the territorial, vital, religious, educational, 
administrative, military, judicial, agricultural, commercial, 
industrial and financial statistics of our country would 
constitute a monument at which the enlightened part of 
the population would certainly look with complaisance and 
other countries with a great deal of interest." 

Two years after the date of this report the Confederation 
of Canada was accomplished under the British North Amer- 
ica Act, 1867, passed by the Imperial Parliament; and the 
seat of the new federal government was established at 
Ottawa. Under the terms of the Act the exclusive legislative 
authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to certain 
subjects enumerated, including the "Census and Statistics." 
The Act therefore, whilst not prohibiting statistical activity 
on the part of the provinces in respect to provincial matters, 
distinctly includes the general subject of statistics as a mat- 
ter of federal and national importance. 

One of the first measures passed by the new federal Parlia- 
ment was an Act for the organization of the Department of 
Agriculture (31 Vict., c. 33), assented to May 22, 1868, 
which Act, while it repealed the similar Act of the province 
of Canada previously in force, virtually re-enacted its main 
provisions; and "the census, statistics and the registration 
of statistics " was the sixth of nine subjects placed under the 
control and direction of the new federal Department of 
Agriculture. There was not, however, in this Act any fur- 
ther statement showing the nature of the statistics con- 

On May 12, 1870, the Dominion Parliament passed a 
special Act (33 Vict., c. 21) for the taking of the first census 


of the new Dominion in 1871. This census was duly taken 
under the direction of Dr. Tache, and the results were 
published in a report of five volumes already referred to. 
For the Census of 1881 an important new departure was 
made in that the Act of 1879 (42 Vict., c. 21), under which 
it was taken, provided for a permanent decennial census 
and for the regular collection and publication of statistics. 
The Act laid it down that a census should be taken at the 
beginning of the year 1881 and "at the beginning of every 
tenth year thereafter." Section 28 of the Act, under the 
heading of "Statistics," provided that the Minister of Agri- 
culture should from time to time make rules and regulations 
"for the purpose of collecting, abstracting, tabulating and 
publishing vital, agricultural, commercial, criminal and other 

The second census (1881), the third census (1891), and 
the fourth census (1901) were taken under the authority 
of this Act. The Census of 1881, like that of 1871, was 
taken by Dr. Tach6, who died in 1894. The Census of 1891 
was taken under the direction of the late Dr. George Johnson, 
Dominion Statistician, who had been Census Commissioner 
for Nova Scotia in 1881. The fourth census (1901) and the 
fifth census (1911) were taken under the direction of the late 
Dr. Archibald Blue, in 1901 as Special Census Commissioner 
and in 1911 as Chief Officer of the Census and Statistics 

From 1863 to 1873 miscellaneous statistics were pub- 
lished by the Department of Finance of the Province of 
Canada (1863-1867), and of the Dominion of Canada 
(1867-1873). They included chiefly municipal, banking, 
insurance and building society statistics. From 1883 to 
1890 annual mortuary statistics of selected cities and towns 
in Canada were collected and published by Order in Coun- 
cil of December 26, 1882, under the authority of the Census 
and Statistics Act, 1879. 


77. Present Statistical Organization 

In 1905 a further step of progress was taken by the or- 
ganization of a permanent Census and Statistics Office as 
a branch of the Department of Agricultiu'e. Under the 
Census and Statistics Act 1905 (4-5 Edw. VII, c. 5) the 
oflBce was charged with the following duties: (1) the taking 
of a decennial census commencing with 1911, such census, 
as before, to include the enumeration of the people for the 
primary purpose of the legal parliamentary representation 
and a complete account of the natural products and economic 
resources of the Dominion; (2) the taking in the mid-year of 
each decade, commencing with 1906, of a census of pop- 
ulation and agriculture only, for the three Northwest prov- 
inces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the two last 
named provinces having been created by Acts of the same 
year (1905); (3) the prosecuting of such special intercensal 
statistical inquiries as might be ordered from time to time 
by the minister responsible to Parliament for the Census and 
Statistics Office. The exact wording of the Act in this 
connection is that " subject to the approval of the Governor 
in Council and under the direction of the minister, the 
office shall collect, abstract and tabulate agricultural, com- 
mercial, criminal, educational, manufacturing, vital and 
other statistics and information from time to time in the 
intercensal years of each decade in such ways and manners 
as are found most practicable." 

With a chief officer, a secretary, three other principal 
officers, a permanent clerical staff of about 25 and temporary 
clerks of both sexes to the number at maximum pressure 
of 170, the office has taken the Northwest census of pop- 
ulation and agriculture (1906), a census of manufactures 
(1906), a census of dairying (1907), an agricultural census 
of eastern Canada (1907), and the decennial Census of 1911, 
and has published, or, in the case of the Census of 1911, is 
still publishing the results in the form of bulletins, interim 
and final reports. 


In 1908 a crop-reporting service was instituted by the 
appointment of about 3,000 voluntary agricultural corre- 
spondents throughout the Dominion. With the aid of these 
correspondents, who fill up and return schedules of inquiries 
issued to them, the office issues a monthly report on the 
condition of agricultural crops and furnishes the information 
required by the International Agricultural Institute to which 
Canada is an adhering country. It also issues annual 
estimates of the areas sown to the principal field crops, of 
the yields and values of these crops and of the numbers of 
farm live stock. The office is well equipped with the latest 
types of calculating machines, most of the adding machines 
being operated by electricity. The records collected by the 
census schedules are transferred to cards by the perforated 
card system and are classified and compiled by specially 
designed electrically-driven sorting and tabulating machines. 
On April 1, 1912, the Census and Statistics Office was 
transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the 
Department of Trade and Commerce; but no other change 
was then or has since been made in its constitution and 

It will thus be observed that under the legislation at 
present in force provision is made for a decennial census 
of the population and natural resoiu*ces of the whole Domin- 
ion and for a quinquennial census of population and agricul- 
ture for the three Northwest provinces of Manitoba, 
Saskatchewan and Alberta. In the first year of each decade 
the Northwest quinquennial census is, however, merged in 
the decennial census of the Dominion. The first Northwest 
quinquennial census having been taken in 1906, and the 
general Census of 1911 being counted as the second, the 
third will fall due to be taken in 1916. In connection with 
the census it should be noted that the principle of a quinquen- 
nial enumeration of the people was not applied in Canada 
for the first time in 1906. Under an Act of 1885 (48-49 
Vict., c. 3) a complete census of the province of Manitoba 
was taken in 1886, midway between the years of the general 


Censuses of 1881 and 1891, and was the subject of an elabo- 
rate report, whilst in 1896 a census of population only was 
taken of the same province, the results being embodied in 
the form of a return to the House of Commons (No. 25, 1896). 

As the intercensal inquiries contemplated by the Act of 
1905 were the same, with but slight alterations, as those 
provided for by the Act of 1879, we may stop to inquire 
how far the authority conferred by the two Acts of 1879 
and 1905 have been utilized for the "collection, abstraction 
and tabulation of agricultural, commercial, criminal, educa- 
tional, manufacturing, vital and other statistics." Of these 
subjects, taking them in reverse order, the registration of 
births, marriages and deaths and education are, under the 
British North America Act, matters entirely within the 
jurisdiction of the provinces; so that the Dominion govern- 
ment, in respect of these subjects, can only utilize such 
statistics as may be published by the provincial govern- 
ments, except in regard to inquiries made in connection 
with the census, or by means of special intercensal inquiries. 
As a matter of fact, the Dominion government has not 
attempted the collection of independent statistics on these 
two subjects, except by means of the decennial censuses, and 
the results thus obtained have not been particularly success- 
ful. Indeed, statistics of births and deaths collected at the 
recent Census of 1911 have so far not been published, be- 
cause of their evidently untrustworthy character. But for 
many years ending with 1904 both vital and education 
statistics, compiled from the records of the provincial gov- 
ernments, were annually published in the Statistical Year 
Book of Canada, an oflBcial publication which we shall have 
occasion presently to describe. The education statistics, 
thus published, were continuous and fairly complete; but 
the vital statistics were only partial and fragmentary for 
reasons hereinafter given. 

One of the first special inquiries set on foot by the new 
Census and Statistics OflSce was a postal census of manu- 
factures which was taken in 1906. This, through the cordial 


and intelligent cooperation of the manufacturers, was com- 
pletely successful, and the results, published in 1907 in the 
form of a bulletin with an introduction, consist of material 
valuable. for comparison with the decennial Censuses of 1901 
and 1911, and for the institution of a quinquennial compari- 
son from the beginning of the century. 

Criminal statistics have been collected annually in Canada 
since 1880 under statutory authority originally conferred by 
Act of the Dominion Parliament in 1876 (39 Vict., c. 13). 
The results have been published upon a comparable basis in 
an annual report from 1880 to the present date. They pre- 
sent material of which considerable use might be but of which 
little use has been made from a sociological point of view. 

Of commercial statistics, the import and export returns 
are complete and exhaustive, following the exigencies of 
tariff legislation; they have been published annually since 
Confederation by the Customs Department, and since 1893 
have been worked up into special tables from a more purely 
commercial standpoint by the Department of Trade and 
Commerce; they are now published in the form of monthly 
and annual reports. 

Reference has already been made to the issue since 1908 
of annual estimates of the areas and yields of the principal 
field crops, and of the numbers of farm live stock. These 
can scarcely be regarded as truly statistical data, except in 
so far as they rest upon the results of the decennial or quin- 
quennial censuses; but they are the nearest approach to 
national annual agricultural statistics for the whole of the 
Dominion which it has as yet been possible to secure. 

In addition to such statistics as are specially collected by 
the Census and Statistics Office there is a great variety of 
statistics, mostly annual and continuous, which are com- 
piled and published by the departments of the Dominion 
government. It is not possible here to enumerate them 
exhaustively, but the following schedule gives the names of 
some of the principal departments and the subjects upon 
which each of them issues statistics that are of public 
interest : 




Nature of Statistics. 

Customs . 

Trade and Commerce. 

Department of the Interior. 

Indian Affairs 

Naval Service 


Department of Mines 
Railways and Canals . 



Canada's external trade, published under the title 
of "Trade and Navigation Returns" in the form 
of monthly statements and of an annual report. 

Canadian trade in the form of an annual report 
issued in seven parts. Three parts relate to 
Canadian trade with other countries. The 
statistics are based upon the trade and navigation 
returns furnished in advance by the Department 
of Customs; but they are analysed and classified 
differently to suit commercial requirements. 
The other four parts include miscellaneous infor- 
mation, grain statistics, the subsidized steamship 
services and the trade of foreign countries. 
A Monthly Report and a Weekly Bulletin are 
also published containing much statistical infor- 
mation relating to trade. 

Monthly and annual statistics of immigration by 
the Immigration Branch of the Department. 
Annual statistics of forestry production, includ- 
ing lumber, pulpwood, cross-ties, cooperage and 
telegraph poles, etc., issued by the Forestry 
Branch of the Department. 

Agricultural, industrial and vital statistics relating 
to the Indians of Canada. 

Fisheries; radiotelegraphy, etc. 

Shipping; meteorology. 

Mineral production. 

Statistics of railways, express companies, canals, 
telegraphs and telephones. 

Strikes and lockouts, industrial accidents, wages 
and cost of living. Publication: "The Labor 
Gazette" (Monthly). 

Public accoimts, including revenue, expenditure, 
debt, etc.; insurance; friendly societies; loan and 
trust companies, etc. 

The statistics published by each of these departments 
appear mbstly in the form of annual reports. Reference 
may be made to the Canada Year Book of 1914 for fairly 
complete lists of the publications of the various departments 
of both the Dominion and provincial governments. 

In addition to the official statistics published by the 



Domiiuon government, whether by the special agency of the 
Census and Statistics Office or by the respective government 
departments, statistics of different kinds are also published 
by the governments of the nine provinces. These differ 
according to the character of the public work which each 
provincial government undertakes; but speaking generally 
Canadian official statistics fall into three different categories, 
viz.: (1) those entirely collected by the Dominion govern- 
ment; (2) those on subjects with which both the Dominion 
and provincial governments are concerned; and (3) those 
entirely collected and published by the provincial govern- 
ments. The following statement shows the statistics of 
Canada which fall into one or other of these three categories : 


Dominion and 

Provincial Only. 

Enumeration of the people 


Vital statistics • 







Municipal statistics 



Hospitals and charities 

Trade (exports and imports) 



Friendly societies 




Loan and trust com- 


Joint stock companies 

Inland revenue 



In the first class, viz., statistics relating to subjects under 
the exclusive control of the Dominion government, there are 
no very great obstacles in the way of effecting such improve- 
ments as may be desirable; but in the other two the improve- 
ments desirable are both more numerous and more impor- 
tant, whilst also the difficulties of effecting them are greater. 

A few words will suffice to describe the general statistical 
situation as it at present exists in each of the nine provinces. 
Tn none of the provinces has there hitherto been any special 


statistical oflfice or bureau for the sole purpose of compiling, 
coordinating and publishing all classes of the statistics of the 
province. As in the case of the Dominion government the 
plan followed has been for each department to publish such 
statistics as it considers desirable — usually in the form of 
annual reports to the provincial legislature. The statistics 
of education, which is purely a provincial matter, are those 
for which the most consistent and generally comparable data 
exist for all the provinces. For other classes of statistics 
there are practically no data which can properly be com- 
pared as between the respective provinces or of which the 
assembling by provinces can aflford satisfactory data of a 
national character. 

Whilst there has hitherto been no general statistical oflSce 
for Ontario any more than there has been one in any other 
of the provinces, it is in Ontario that statistics in diflferent 
branches have been longest published and most completely 
developed. The vital statistics of the province, elaborate 
and detailed in character, have been published in the annual 
reports of the Registrar General since 1871, and since 1882 
the Bureau of Industries, which was then organized by the 
late Dr. Archibald Blue, has published an annual report 
containing (1) agricultural statistics; (2) statistics of chattel 
mortgages and (3) municipal statistics. In other directions, 
such as education, public charities and mines, the provincial 
statistics of Ontario are fairly complete and continuous. 
Statistical organization in the other provinces has not yet 
arrived at any complete stage of development. In fact, the 
collection of most classes of statistics is not undertaken in 
any systematic manner for the guidance of the government, 
but is rather incidental to or a corollary of other descriptions 
of departmental work. 

Nevertheless, besides Ontario, already mentioned, vital 
statistics are annually published by the majority of the 
remaining eight provinces. In Prince Edward Island the 
system was begun in 1906; yet in 1912 no statistics of births, 
marriages and deaths were collected and published. In 


Nova Scotia the collection of annual vital statistics began 
only five years ago (1909). In New Brunswick no statistics 
of the kind are published. In Quebec, according to the 
report for 1893 of the Recorder of Vital Statistics, such 
statistics were inaugurated in the province on July 1, 1893, 
by Act of the Legislature (56 Vict., c. 29). In Manitoba 
annual vital statistics exist from 1882 and in Saskatchewan 
and Alberta from the date of the creation of these two prov- 
inces in 1905. In British Columbia annual vital statistics 
date from the year 1872. With regard to vital statistics in 
all the provinces the lack of anything like coordination in 
respect of methods, scope or period covered prevents them 
from being provincially intercomparable, and the entire 
defect of New Brunswick is of itself sufficient to prevent the 
issue of any annual national figures for the whole of the 

Again, most if not all of the provinces collect and publish 
annual statistics of agricultural production; but the methods 
of collection are dissimilar, and the results diflfer materially 
in many cases from the estimates of the Dominion govern- 
ment for the same province. Of the three Maritime prov- 
inces New Brunswick has published annual statistics of the 
area and yield of wheat since 1897, and of hay, oats, buck- 
wheat and potatoes since 1898; but in Prince Edward Island 
and Nova Scotia little has been done in this direction. 
Fairly complete agricultural statistics have been published 
annually by the governments of the three Northwest prov- 
inces : Manitoba since 1883 (excepting 1888) ; Saskatchewan 
since 1898 and Alberta since 1899. In 1911 the government 
of British Columbia published what was intended to be the 
first of an annual series of agricultural statistics; but the 
figures collected proved untrustworthy. Since then strong 
efforts have been put forth to obtain more accurate data by 
personal visits to farmers; and the results applicable to the 
year 1913 have been published. 

Up to quite recently the large French-speaking province 
of Quebec has had no organized statistics worthy of the 


name, and the collection of statistics of agricultural pro- 
duction has not even been attempted. But a beginning has 
now been made on very hopeful lines by the organization of 
a provincial Bureau of Statistics at Quebec. An Act of the 
Provincial Legislature of Quebec authorizing the establish- 
ment of such a Bureau was assented to on December 21, 
1912, and put into force on November 11, 1913. The Act 
provides that the Chief of the Bureau, under the direction 
of the Provincial Secretary, shall collect, condense and tabu- 
late useful statistics and information respecting the province 
and especially respecting education, industry, trade, agri- 
culture, population, colonization, natural products of the 
soil and generally everything relating to the province of 
public interest. Officers and public employees under the 
control of the provincial government or under the control 
of municipalities, school commissions, societies, associations, 
etc., organized under the provincial laws or receiving pro- 
vincial subventions, are required to reply promptly to official 
communications from the Bureau of Statistics and to collect 
and classify in an exact manner the facts and statistics 
demanded, refusal to do so being punishable by a fine not 
exceeding $50. A clause in the Act provides that the Pro- 
vincial Secretary, with the consent of the Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor in Council, may make the necessary arrangements for 
the establishment of a system for the exchange of informa- 
tion and statistics between the Dominion government or 
any of its departments and the Bureau. 

The preliminary organization of the work of the new 
Bureau was entrusted to M. Henri Bunle, statistician in the 
General Statistical Service of France, who entered upon this 
task in September, 1913. Having completed his mission 
M. Bunle returned to Paris, and on July 3, 1914, a new Chief 
of the Bureau was appointed in the person of M. G. E, 
Marquis, late Inspector of Schools at Bonaventure-Matane. 
The new office published in 1914 a Statistical Year Book 
for the province in both the French and English languages. 

Reference has already been made to the Canada Year 



Book. This is an oflBcial statistical publication, the object 
of which is to present in a conveniently accessible and sum- 
mary form the chief comparative statistics of the Dominion, 
which otherwise could only be obtained by consulting in- 
numerable blue books of different departments. The want 
of such a publication was felt immediately upon the federa- 
tion of the Dominion in 1867, and from that year until 1879 
was published annually, to quote its title, a "Year Book 
and Almanac of British North America, being an Annual 
Register of pohtical, vital and trade statistics, customs 
tariffs, excise and stamp duties, and public events of interest 
in Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, 
Prince Edward Island, Newfoimdland and the West Indies." 
Subsequently this title was altered to "The Year Book and 
Almanac of Canada, being an Annual Statistical Abstract 
of the Dominion and a Register of Legislation and of public 
men in British North America." The editor was Mr, 
Arthur Harvey, F.S.S., of the Finance Department, Ottawa; 
but the work was in no sense a government publication. 

Seven years after the lapse of this work, viz., in 1886, the 
Department of Agriculture of the Dominion government 
began the publication of the Statistical Year Book of Canada, 
which consisted of two parts, a "Record" and a "Statistical 
Abstract," embracing all the principal official statistics of 
Canada, whether published by the Dominion or the provin- 
cial governments. The work was continued annually upon 
the same lines until 1904 when Dr. George Johnson, who 
edited it as Dominion Statistician, was superannuated. In 
1905 the Year Book was remodelled by the late Dr. Archi- 
bald Blue, Chief Officer of the Census and Statistics Office, 
with the title "The Canada Year Book, Second Series"; 
and its contents were restricted to abstracts of the statistics 
of the Dominion government, preceded by notes on the 
"Events of the Year." • In 1912 the present writer succeeded 
to the editorship, and with the approval of the Minister of 
Trade and Commerce further changes have been effected to 
meet present-day requirements. These are described in the 


preface for each edition of 1912, 1913 and 1914; here it will 
suflBce to mention that the general scope of the work has 
been materially enlarged. 

III. Future Development of Statistical Organization 

That there are at present grave defects in the national 
statistical organization of the Dominion is admitted by all 
who have had occasion to consult the statistics that exist or 
to call for statistics that are furnished by other countries 
but which are conspicuously lacking in Canada. Some of 
them have already been indicated. The necessity for im- 
provement has not indeed escaped the attention of the Do- 
minion government. One of the earliest acts of the present 
Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), 
after taking over the control of a department under whose 
administration the Census and Statistics Office comes, was 
to appoint on May 12, 1912, a Departmental Commission 
to inquire into and report upon the whole statistical situa- 
tion of the Dominion. In the reference to this commission 
the minister pointed out certain of the defects apparent, 
including the lack of a comprehensive system for the collec- 
tion and publication of statistics of production and distribu- 
tion, the duplication of effort and diversity of results that 
were apparent in certain classes of statistics and the dupli- 
cation and the want of cooperation between the Dominion 
and provincial statistical authorities. 

On November 30, 1912, the commission presented their 
report wherein the present statistical situation was described 
in considerable detail, and a variety of recommendations 
were made with the object of remedying defects and of 
placing the whole statistical organization of the Dominion 
upon a sound and enduring basis. Amongst the principal 
recommendations of the commission were that a central 
statistical office should be organized for the coordination, 
unification, extension and general improvement of statistics; 
that in connection with this office there should be a Domin- 
ion Interdepartmental Statistical Committee whose duties 


should be deliberative and advisory rather than executive, 
and who should make recommendations to secure (a) the 
prevention of duplication and conflicting results; (b) the 
better adaptation of statistical material obtained in one 
branch to the. needs of another; (c) the establishment of 
uniformity of definitions and methods; (d) expansion and 
development along proper lines; and (e) the supervision of 
statistical publications and especially of the scope and 
arrangement of the Canada Year Book. Other recommen- 
dations included the creation of a Statistical Conference 
between representatives of the Dominion and of the nine 
provincial governments, and with a view especially to the 
coordination of statistics of births, marriages and deaths, 
public health, education, agriculture, local and municipal 
government, industrial accidents, finance, hospitals, chari- 
ties, etc. The report further recommended the institution 
of a quinquennial census limited to the enumeration of popu- 
lation and property and of an annual census of production, 
including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining and manu- 

So far little has been done to give effect to the recommen- 
dations of the commission; but there is evidence of willing- 
ness on the part of the provincial governments to cooperate 
with the Dominion government in efforts to secure trust- 
worthy statistics of a national character, a willingness which 
has not always hitherto been manifested. In one direction 
some progress has been made, and further progress is depend- 
ent upon action of the Dominion government. On March 
26, 1914, a conference on agricultural statistics was held 
between representatives of the Dominion and provincial 
governments, when a resolution was unanimously passed 
that a census of the areas and yields of the principal field 
crops and of the numbers of live stock should be taken 
annually and that a more complete and accurate census 
should be carried out every fifth year. It was also generally 
agreed that the reform desired would be best secured by a 
well-considered scheme of cooperation between the Dominion 


and provincial governments and that the Dominion govern- 
ment, after consultation with each of the provincial govern- 
ments, should draft a scheme as a basis for discussion at a 
further conference to be subsequently convened. 

Whilst statistical development in many directions is desir- 
able, reform in two classes of statistics is urgently called for, 
viz., vital statistics and statistics of agricultural production. 
The initiative in bringing about reform lies naturally with 
the Dominion government. A progressive country like 
Canada cannot afford to lag behind other countries in 
statistical organization. The demand for statistical informa- 
tion, prepared upon scientific and up-to-date lines, is con- 
stantly growing, not only for the purpose of satisfying the 
needs of the home public but also for the purpose of providing 
data for comparison with other countries. The establish- 
ment in 1909 of the International Agricultural Institute to 
which 50 countries of the world, including Canada, adhere, 
has already done much to stimulate the collection of national 
agricultural statistics upon comparable bases. Similar 
action has been contemplated in connection with commer- 
cial statistics by the establishment at Brussels of an Inter- 
national Institute of Commercial Statistics; and for general 
demographic statistics much is hoped for from the establish- 
ment at The Hague of a Permanent Bureau of the Inter- 
national Statistical Institute, to which, in 1913 at the 
fourteenth session, held at Vienna, Canada for the first time 
sent an oflScial delegate. Furthermore, if a proposal should 
materialize for the establishment of a British Imperial 
Statistical Bureau, as suggested in evidence before the 
Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the natural 
resources of the British Empire, such a bureau could not 
fail to exercise a salutary influence in inducing all the Over- 
seas Dominions, including Canada, to endeavor to level up 
to the requirements of the central authority. Unhappily, a 
severe set-back to institutions of this kind is being experi- 
enced by the present disastrous European war, and it can. 


only be after the restoration of peace that eflPorts at inter- 
national statistical cooperation can be renewed. 

Looking to the future, it is desirable that better facilities 
should be afforded for the trainiog of statisticians. There 
are at present very few statisticians in Canada who devote 
themselves to the study of statistics from the purely scien- 
tific or professional standpoint, and none of the Universities 
teach statistics as a special or separate branch of science. 
There is, however, at Montreal in the newly-established 
"Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales" a Chair of Sta- 
tistics, and the teaching of statistics is there undertaken 
with a practical, scientific and comprehensive curriculum. 
In effect, however, the school is a purely French institution. 
In Ontario a High School of Commerce and Finance was 
organized in 1911 at Toronto, where the " Elements of 
Theoretical and Practical Statistics " are taught during the 
second year in the Department of Economics. At Toronto 
University "Statistics" is one of the subjects in the second 
year of the course in Commerce and Finance. 

Universal statistical solidarity is a great ideal. It implies 
that, starting from judiciously defined imits of area, prov- 
inces or states forming parts of nations or confederacies shall 
adopt similar methods to arrive at comparable results as 
between themselves; that where such nations or confed- 
eracies form parts of an empire there shall likewise be a fair 
possibility of interimperial statistical comparability; and 
finally that divergence of statistical methods between 
countries mutually foreign shall gradually be so far dimin- 
ished that the comparability of international statistics may 
be rendered increasingly practicable. Dbubtless we are a 
long way from complete reahzation of the ideal; but it is 
much to be moving steadily if slowly towards the goal 



By Adolf Jensen 

Chief of the Statistical Department of Denmark 

In the nineteenth century, the official statistics of Den- 
mark were at first in charge of an office, later under the care 
of a commission, thereupon again transferred to an office, 
known as "The Statistical Bureau," the "State Statistical 
Bureau," and from 1913 as "The Statistical Department." 

But prior to the establishment in 1797 of the Danish- 
Norwegian Tabulating Office, enumerations of the popula- 
tion had taken place in 1769 and in 1787. The results of 
these first two population enumerations must, however, be 
regarded as somewhat unreliable. The enumeration of 
1769 did not include enlisted military persons, and one of 
its chief objects was to discover the presence and number 
of tax-payers, a task which necessarily must impair the 
trustworthiness of an enumeration and create a desire to 
escape being counted which perhaps in our day has not 
completely been eradicated. The government had en- 
trusted the working out of these two enumerations to private 
persons; but a steadily increasing demand for statistical 
information, in which the question of taxes and tax-payers 
continuously came strongly to the fore, and the desire that 
such data should appear regularly and at brief intervals 
led to the establishment of the Tabulating Office in 1797. 
Overweighting of the office and personal conditions caused 
this institution, of which much had been expected, to 
play but an insignificant r61e. The revision and analyses 
of the public accounts seem in part to have put dispro- 
portionately large demands upon the office force which 

*The sources of the following survey are, so far as the historical account is con- 
cerned, A. Holch: History of the Danish Statistics, 1800-18S0, and History of the 
Statistical Bureau, later published by the State Statistical Bureau. 


consisted of a few persons; in part, the fact that the office 
could accomplish nothing caused a lack of respect which 
again created friction in the work of obtaining data. The 
office was abolished in 1819. Its principal task had been 
to work out the enumeration of 1801; but this work the 
office had not succeeded in bringiug to a conclusion. 

In consequence of these discouraging results, and as 
the need of organizing the official statistics naturally con- 
tinued to manifest itself strongly, the government in 1834 
undertook the creation of a commission, "The Tabulating 
Commission." Its members held high places in the cen- 
tral administration, a circumstance which aflforded them 
no small degree of independence. The statistical bulletins 
pubKshed by the commission were worked out under its 
auspices, and its members cooperated in the composition 
of the textual parts. Some of these, however, were wholly 
or partly the labor of experts outside of the commission; 
and this form of assistance, in part of a scientific nature, 
was also an indication of the extraordinary and independent 
position of the commission, and, together with special ar- 
rangement in other respects, came to exert an influence on 
the establishment and plan of the Statistical Bureau. 

In addition to the preparation of the population enu- 
merations of 1834, 1840 and 1845, the Tabulating Com- 
mission began, among other things, statistics of the 
movement of population through marriages, births and 
deaths, of live stock, of the utilization of the agricultural 
area, of shipping, of imports and exports, of criminal con- 
ditions, of the produfction of whisky, etc.* 

The work of the Tabulating Commission was received 
with great satisfaction; but as it was a secondary occupa- 
tion of the members of the commission, and as the field of 
labor gradually expanded, it was unavoidable that a grow- 
ing desire for an independent statistical bureau should make 
itself felt. The commission was abolished in 1848 and, 
after a temporary arrangement and searching considera- 

* History of the Statistical Bureau, pp. 147-148. 


tions, "The Statistical Bureau" was created on January 1, 

In the report of the estabhshment of the bureau it is 
stated that the Council of State preferred to entrust the 
direction of the bureau to an individual rather than to a 
commission which had been proposed in several quarters, 
that the chief of the bureau should be directly under the 
minister without a departmental director as intermediary; 
that the chief should sign documents pertaining to the 
bureau, and that matters concerning the bureau should 
preferably be directed to it in so far as the respective authori- 
ties did not feel especially impelled to address their commu- 
nications to the minister in charge, as in case of complaints 
against the bureau and the like. 

Thus there was created an independent central bureau; 
and it remains unchanged in principle to this day. 

Following the lines indicated by the Tabulating Commis- 
sion, the Statistical Bureau constantly enlarged its field. of 
work. It is thus to be mentioned that population enumer- 
ations were regularly taken at intervals of five or ten years, 
since 1901 quinquennially, while every other enumeration has 
been made more extensive. Data in regard to marriages, 
births, and deaths have also since that time been published 
at intervals of five years; data relating to the "utilization 
of the area" (agriculture) were collected for the first time 
by the Tabulating Coinmission in 18S8, again in 1861, and 
thereupon first at quinquennial, later at decennial, and, in 
most recent times, once more at quinquennial periods. At 
the same periods of time and partly with the same intervals 
enumerations of live stock were regularly made. Begin- 
ning with 1875, annual accounts were rendered of the amount 
and value of the crops. For 1845-49 and since 1860 data 
have, furthermore, been gathered in regard to the sale and 
prices of farm lands. As already mentioned, the Tabulat- 
ing Commission had published tables of imports and ex- 
ports. Since 1854 an annual publication on this subject 
had appeared; the same applies to shipping (although after 


1910 tabulations of the shipping will only appear quinquen- 
nially). The bureau likewise continued the criminal sta- 
tistics of the Tabulating Commission; but statistics of civil 
court work were not begun until 1863. Moreover, the 
public accounting and finance system, which had played 
such a large r61e at the beginning of the century, was of 
course made a constant object of work and publication. 

A reorganization and expansion of the bureau in 1895, 
together with far-reaching changes in personnel, served to 
speed up and make more timely several of the current under- 
takings, and again to bring new fields under cultivation. 
First of all mention must be made of the Year Book and of 
the social statistics. 

During the years 1869-74 there appeared annually a 
"Summary of Statistical Information," a very practical 
and very useful document, the publication of which unfor- 
tunately has occurred only at intervals of several years. 
After 1895 these summaries were continued in the Statisti- 
cal Year Book, the first volume of which appeared in 1896 
and with its additions and improvements is now perhaps the 
most widely used of the publications of the department. 

In the domain of social statistics, an enumeration of trades 
and indiistries was imdertaken (1897). In connection here- 
with statistics were collected of wages and hours of labor. 
Among other things, furthermore, an extensive inquiry was 
made into the cost of living of Danish laborers' families, 
covering the entire year 1897; and statistics relative to 
labor conflicts were begun. 

In the years following, the work in all these fields has 
been carried forward and accompanied by a steady improve- 
ment of statistical technique (such as the substitution of a 
card system for the previous lists); and continuous efiForts 
were made to bring the results to the knowledge of the pub- 
lic as quickly as possible. To this end, among other things, 
the monthly statistical communications were begun in 

In 1913 the name "State Statistical Bureau" was changed 


to "The Statistical Department." At the same time the 
oflSce was expanded by adding a third division to be con- 
cerned chiefly with social statistics. 

Aside from the Statistical Department, which, as shown 
above, has the character of a central statistical bureau, there 
is no other statistical bureau in the proper sense except the 
Statistical Oflfice of the municipality of Copenhagen. The 
statistics office of the Traffic Departments are chiefly con- 
cerned with bookkeeping and accounting. The Board of 
Health maintains a medical-historical office which collates 
and publishes the morbidity and mortality statistics for the 
kingdom, while the other population statistics are in charge 
of the Statistical Department. It may also be noted that 
the annual account of the yield of the salt-water flsheries is 
published by the Inspector of Fisheries, and that the annual 
business statistics for about one half of the dairies of the 
country are published by a special committee. These are 
fields of Danish statistics lying outside of the province of 
the department. (The results, in addition to being pub- 
lished by the above-mentioned institutions, are given in a 
summary form in the Statistical Year Book of the depart- 

The foundation of the activities of the department is to 
be sought in the law of 1895 governing the State Statistical 
Bureau in connection with a law of 1913 and the arguments 
pertaining to them. The law of 1895 says: 

"The activity of the Bureau shall be to furnish informa- 
tion in regard to the conditions of population, social con- 
ditions particularly with reference to the wage earners, 
financial and industrial life, culture, the administration of 
the state and the communes, and the participation of the 
population in public life — all so far as such information can 
be obtained and presented statistically. The Bureau shall, 
furthermore, contribute to international statistics. Finally, 
it is a duty of the Bureau to aid the administration by sta- 
tistical analyses and information, in preparing opinions, etc." 


In conformity with the above field of labor the bureau deals 
with the following principal subjects : 

1. Statistics of population, including: 

(a) Enumerations of population. 

(b) Marriages, births, deaths and migrations. 
8. Judicial and moral statistics, including: 

(a) Civil cases, including attachments. 

(b) Criminal court cases. 

(c) Cases of public morals (sexual morality, intemperance, etc.). 

3. Social statistics, including: 

(a) Conditions of living in the different strata of society, including the con- 

ditions of livelihood and consumption. 

(b) Special objects of consideration are the conditions of the wage earners in 

their different relations, the conditions of wealth and income as well 
as working men's insurance. 

4. Industrial statistics, including: 

(a) Agriculture. 

(b) Industries. 

(c) Fisheries. 

(d) Financial transactions, thereunder banks and institutions for savings. 

5. Statistics in regard to culture, thereunder education and instruction. 

6. Statistics in regard to public relations: 

(a) The financial affairs of the state and the communes. 

(b) Public elections. 

7. International statistics, including: 

Participation in the mutual Scandinavian as well as in the general inter- 
national statistical work. 

In regard to the statistical publications of the bureau, 
reference is made to the appended list; but some remarks 
are in point concerning the basis and collection of material 
in the different branches of statistics. 

Although the law of 1895, with the resolutions pertaining 
to it, etc., on the whole affords the department the necessary 
authority to demand the requisite information of the public 
authorities and the citizens of the country, it has been cus- 
tomary that, for instance, enumerations of trades and indus- 
tries are in conformity with special legislation; just as the 
basis of the statistics of commerce is the regulation incor- 
porated in the tariff law of 1908 in regard to the duty of 
commercial people to furnish data concerning the magnitude 
of the imports or exports, etc. While these special legis- 
lative acts contained penalty clauses (fines) in case of neglect 


to furnish this requisite information, no other forcible means 
of obtaining it is available; nor is it needed. The existing 
penalty clauses have never been brought into use. 

As a rule the provincial governors and the communal 
councils (city and parish councils) function as intermedi- 
aries between the department and the public. Thus it 
may be mentioned that, for instance, the population 
schedules are forwarded to the municipalities and parishes 
through the provincial governors, to be distributed in the 
cities by commimal authorities to every house-owner, whose 
duty it is to see that the inhabitants of the house fill them 
out correctly; while in the country districts distribution is 
made by enumeration commissioners, especially appointed 
by the parish councils, who have the duty of assisting the 
population in properly filling out the schedule. Very much 
in the same manner a schedule or card is directed to each 
farm, to be filled out with information in regard to the num- 
ber of live stock and other questions connected with it, such 
as the participation in the agricultural cobperative activi- 
ties, etc., or in regard to the use made of the farm area. Data 
concerning the number of live stock and the utilization of 
the area are, as remarked before, collected every five years. 
Aside from this interest which is inherent in the facts rela- 
tive to the utihzation of the area (the areas devoted to the . 
diflFerent crops), data obtained also serve as a basis for 
the annual statistics of crops. The method of procedure 
here is, generally speaking, the following: For each of the 
parish communities of the country (of which there are about 
1,200), when the threshing is done the communal council 
states according to its best judgment the yield obtained 
(hectoliter per hectare) for the different crops. By multi- 
plying the result by the known area covered by the different 
crops in the parish, the total of the harvest is ascertained. 
The figures from other parishes are added to secure data 
for larger districts and the whole country. By using the 
same area as basis for five years in succession some inac- 


curacy, of course, arises. It is not believed, however, that 
this is of essential importance. 

Among other larger branches of statistics to be mentioned 
in this connection is that relative to marriages, births and 
deaths. Here the clergy of the state church and of other 
recognized religious organizations act as registrars and fill 
out an individual blank for each marriage, birth and death. 
These schedules are collected and transmitted to the depart- 
ment for tabulation. Individual cards are also used in the 
collection of criminal statistics. The method employed is 
that the criminal records are not kept in the jurisdiction 
within which the prosecution has taken place but in the 
jurisdiction of the birth-place of the criminal, and that the 
first mentioned jurisdiction transmits to the jurisdiction of 
the birth-place of the criminal a "penal card" in regard to 
him as soon as a sentence is pronounced in the first instance, 
and after the contents of this card are entered on the record 
it is sent to the Statistical Department. It is thus possible 
to follow up the same person, a very essential point in the 
production of rational statistics of recidivism. 

Information in regard to suicides and deaths from acci- 
dents are obtained from the transcriptions of hearings and 
inquests which the jurisdictions are obliged to send to the 

Brief mention has been made above of the enumerations 
of trades and industries and of the commercial statistics. 
So far as the first mentioned branch is concerned the dis- 
tribution and collection of the schedules are usually made 
through the communal councils. At the last two enumera- 
tions (1906 and 1914) there were, in addition to information 
in regard to the number of industrial establishments, the 
wage earners, and their distribution according to sex, age, 
training, etc., collected data in regard to the gross value of 
production for the year preceding enumeration, the amount 
of wages, hours of labor, etc. In the future, information 
about wages will be obtained also through another channel 
as the department is to receive the data communicated to 


the employers' strike insurance organizations, in regard to 
the wages paid by each individual employer week by week. 
This information goes into great detail, and as the amount 
of strike compensation is awarded in proportion to the wages 
paid there is a guarantee that the data will be complete. 
Besides, the department has the right to regulate the man- 
ner in which the data are collected and exercises another 
method of control in regard to the statistics of tariff agree- 
ments which have also been begun recently. About the 
statistics of commerce, it should be said that the importer 
is in duty bound to hand in to the Customs Department, 
which controls the correctness thereof, a notification of the 
kind of goods imported, their quantity, place of production, 
etc. In the same manner exporters must report to the 
Customs Department, the Railway Department, and the 
Post Office Department, in regard to the goods exported. 
In the blanks used the value of the goods is not inquired 
into, but information about it is obtained by the depart- 
ment through communication with a large number of lead- 
ing firms in the different branches. 

We have now accounted for some of the principal fields 
within which the organization of the Danish statistics 
offers points of special interest. Meanwhile, in all cases in 
which public documents are concerned, for instance, in 
regard to the finances of the state and local communes, 
banks and savings institutions, stock companies, the rail- 
ways, post office, telegraphs, etc., such accounts and reports 
of course form the basis of the statistical surveys prepared 
by the department. To what extent these reports provide 
such a basis may be gathered from the statement incor- 
porated in the Statistical Year Book relative to the sources 
of the single tables. 

While the subordinate work in the Statistical Department 
is carried on by students of pohtical economy and by women 
with office experience, the higher positions (10 assistants, 5 
experts, 3 bureau chiefs and the departmental chief) are 
practically always filled by graduates in economic science. 


Among the assistants are to be found, however, two gradu- 
ates in law (on account of the judicial statistics) and a math- 
ematician. The graduates in political economy have com- 
pleted a five years' university course (10 semesters) and 
taken their final examinations. The examinations cover 
the theory and poKcies of the national economy, finance, 
the statistics of Denmark, the theory of statistics, sociology, 
different branches of law, poHtical history, etc. Such train- 
ing must naturally be regarded chiefly of a theoretical nature, 
but since those who are appointed assistants as a rule have 
worked in the department while attending the university, 
this shortcoming is in no small measure compensated for. 
The studies in question draw considerable numbers, and it 
is always easy for the department to secure the necessary 
working force. 

In view of the development of the official Danish statis- 
tics, and, moreover, from the nature of conditions in a small 
country, the centralization of statistical work in a single 
institution has imquestionably been the happiest form. It 
makes for rational determination in the treatment of the 
different kinds of material as well as for uniformity; and it 
is of great importance to the working statisticians in modern 
society, where all things are inter-related, to come into as 
close a contact as possible with the different branches of 
statistics in the course of their labors. 

A central bureau is also the most fortunate form for the 
development of statistics and for undertaking new subjects. 
There will thus always be an institution to which new work 
can be referred, and its officials by reason of their training 
accustomed to dealing with many subjects of different 

It has also been found in this country that it is quite easy 
for the Statistical Department to keep pace with develop- 
ments. What self-evidently in great degree has contributed 
to this is that the legislative authorities and public opinion 
show the department much good-will, manifesting consid- 
erable interest in its work, and that, on the whole, no mean 


degree of statistical sense has been awakened in the pop- 
ulation. In order to achieve this, effort has been made to 
bring the results of statistical work, before embodying it in 
more ponderous tabulations, quickly before the public in 
an easily accessible form. The publication, "Statistical 
Communications," has provided an excellent medium to 
this end. The material it contains is extensively reprinted 
by the daily press. Although there are fields in regard to 
which both interested parties and the department itself 
might wish to furnish more information than now can pos- 
sibly be given, it may surely be said, in general, that what 
can be done is in a measure being done, in order that the 
department may keep pace with developments. 

Self-evidently every requirement on the part of inter- 
national statistics is being met so far as possible. It has 
always been the especial concern of the department to pro- 
vide information as fully as possible for the use of Inter- 
national Year Books, Summaries, etc. In the same manner 
the International Crop Reporting Institute has been given 
as much support as feasible; and it is a pleasure to state 
that the Danish Government has granted oflScial assistance 
to the permanent bureau of the International Statistical 
Institute. So far as compatible with the peculiar condi- 
tions of each country it is imquestionably true that inter- 
national statistics should be considered of the greatest inter- 
est and significance. But on the other hand, it must not 
be forgotten that there still exist several fields in regard to 
which the difference between one country as compared with 
another are so great that some of the descriptions used fre- 
quently pertain to widely different things. It is precisely 
the co-relation of such heterogeneous numbers for which 
international statistics must have a care, and it is the more 
difficult to guard against them as only a thorough knowledge 
of the conditions in the individual countries make it possi- 
ble to realize that there is danger. Here as well as in sta- 
tistics generally the greatest difficulty consists in framing 
the questions to be put. 


/. Area and Population 

The Area of Denmark, 1906 

The Length of Roads 

The Condition of Roads 

Rural Districts United with Munidpalities 

The Number of Rural Communes, 1850 

The Popiilation of Denmark in the 19th Century 

Population Enmnerations 

(a) Denmark from 1801 to 1911, which is the latest enimieration 

(b) The Duchies 

(c) Copenhagen 

(d) Jurisdictions 

(e) Faero Islands 

(f) Iceland 

(g) Greenland 

(h) Danish West Indies 

(i) Danish East Indies, 1835 
Enumeration Communal Populations 
Marriage Statistics 
The Number of Deaf and Dumb 
Marriages, Births and Deaths 

(a) Denmark, the first publication for 1801 to 1833, the last publica- 

tion for 1906 to 1910 

(b) Duchies 

The Mortality in Denmark and the Duchies, 1845 to 1854 

The Causes of Death in Municipalities (after 1899 published separately 

by the Board of Health) 
Suicides, the first for 1835 to 1844; the last for 1886 to 1895 
Suicides and Accidents, 1896 to 1905 
Accidents on Seeland; in agriculture and forestry 

//. Agriculture and Forestry 

Conditions of Agriculture in Denmark, 1850 to 1910 

Farming in Denmark, 1850 to 1905 

Conditions of Agriculture, 1853 

The Measure of Land, Appraisement, Distribution of Farms, etc., 1835 

Live Stock, the Utilization of the Area, etc. 

Larger Agricultural Properties and Their Location 

Farm Properties According to Size, 1901 

Sales and Prices of Farms, the first tor 1845 to 1849, the last for 1905 to 

The Utilization of the Area, the last for 1907 


Statistics of the Utilization of the Area 

Censuses of Live Stock, the last for 1909 

The Cooperative Unions in Agriculture 

The Utilization of Agricultural Machinery 

Statistics of Crops, Preliminary and Final Annual Reports 

Forestry, 1907 

III. Trades and Industry 
Manufactures, etc. 

Industrial Enumerations, 1897 to 1906 
Home Industries in Copenhagen, 1906 

IV. Commerce and Navigation 

Foreign Commerce, Navigation and Merchant Fleet 
Importation and Exportation in Denmark, Annual 
Importation and Exportation (Quarterly Statistics) 
Foreign Commerce (Quarterly Statistics) 
Productions Controlled by the State, the last for 1912 

V. Prices 

Official Prices of Cereals, 1600-1902 
Official Prices of Cereals, the last 1912 

Official Prices of Cereals, Averages for the Years 1829 to 1848, 1882 to 

VI. Social Statistics 
Savings Banks 
Sick Associations 
Morbidity Statistics, 1908 

The Frequency of Tuberculosis in Denmark, 1906 
Old Age Relief, the last for 1897 to 1900 
Organization for Poor Relief, 1901 
Poor Relief, 1901 

Widowers and Widows with Children, 1911 
The Work of School Children in Gainful Occupations, 1908 
Strikes and Lockouts, 1897 to 1899, 1900 to 1904, 1905 to 1910 
Wages of Workmen for the State 
Wages of Industrial Workers, 1897 to 1905 
Wages in Agriculture, 1897, 1905, 1910 
Conditions of Labor among the Restaiuant Keepers 
Hours of Labor in Industries, 1906 
Budgets of Wage-Earning Families, 1897 
Household Budgets, 1909 
Drunkenness, 1892 

VII. Education 

The Common Schools in Rural Districts 
Public Schools, the last for 1911 

High Schools for the Agricultural Classes and Agricultural Schools, the 
last for 1911 


VIII. Judicial Statistics 

Civil Judicial Statistics 

Estates of Bankrupt and Decedent Persons 

Criminal Judicial Statistics 

Civil and Criminal Justice, 1901 to 1905 

IX. Public Elections 

Registered Voters 
Qualified Electors 
Elections to the Folketing 
Communal Elections 

X. Finance and Taxation 

Receipts and Expenses of the Monarchy 
Receipts and Expenses of the State 
Communal Accounts 

Persons Liable to Taxation (Law of 1864) 
Persons Liable to Taxation (Law of 1862) 
Persons Liable to Taxation (Law of 1870) 
The New State Taxes, 1904 to 1905 
Valuation for the Purpose of Property Tax, 1904 
State Income and Property Tax 

XI. Income and Wealth According to Taxation 
Other Publications 
The Stature of Conscripts 
Ability of Soldiers to Read and Write 
Thermometrical Conditions in Copenhagen 
Value of the Buildings of the State 

The Statistical Bureau, Laws and Circulars Pertaining to it 
The Statistical Bureau, Its Activity, 1896 to 1897 
The Statistical Bureau, List of Publications 

The Statistical Bureau, The Organization of OfiBcial Statistics, 1886 
The Statistical Bureau, Scandinavian Statistical Meeting, 1900 
Statistical Information about Iceland, 1907; about Greenland, 1012 
Foreign Commerce of the Danish West Indies 
R€sum€ of Statistical Information 
Statistical Year Book, 1896 to 1913 
Precis de Statistique, 1907 
Statistical Siunmaries, 1913 
Statistical Communications, 1909 to 1013 
History of The Statistical Bureau, 1900 
History of Danish Statbtics, 1800 to 1850 
Commerce between the Scandinavian Countries, 1900 to 1906 



By Fernand Fatjre 

Professor of Law at the University of Paris and Member of the Conseil 
Sup^rieuT de Statistique 

Wishing to conform to the clear "suggestions" of The 
American Statistical Association, we shall limit the study, 
which it has done us the honor to ask us to make, to prac- 
tical statistics, to a description of the actual work of enum- 
eration. We shall eliminate as far as possible whatever 
relates to the doctrines or the theories which have as their 
aim the organization, methods and data of statistics. We 
shall divide our study into three parts: 1, The History of 
Statistics in France; 2, The Actual Organization of the 
Work; 3, Desirable and Possible Lines of Progress. 

Part I. History of Statistics in France 

In the domain of history it has long been the habit, espe- 
cially in France, to confuse the practice of statistics with 
the theory of statistics.* 

These are, however, in the past as in the present, two very 
different things. It is necessary to study them separately, 
in spite of the intimate relations that can be discovered 
between them, just as it is important to study separately 
the history of economic fact and the history of economic 

What we intend to set forth here is the history of the 
practice of statistics. 

Usually one traces the beginning of this history to the 
plans for investigation conceived by Sully and Colbert and 
especially to the celebrated mSmoires drawn up by the 

* Moreau de JonnSs, Maurice Block, Emile Levasseur, to cite only the leading 
French experts in the subject in the second half of the nineteenth century, have 
been guilty of this confusion. See Levasseur, La Population Frannaise, Vol. I, 
Histoire sommaire de la Statistique, pp. 47-73. 


Intendants from 1697 to 1700. It is assumed that before 
the last years of the eighteenth century there was no attempt 
at official statistics worthy of the name.* 

This error is due to a rather superficial view of things. It 
is right to say that "the creation of an organization exclu- 
sively devoted to gathering numerical inforn^ation in France 
does not go back of the last years of the eighteenth cen- 
tury." But it is wrong to conclude that to have official sta- 
tistics France had to wait for the reorganization, by Necker, 
of the bureau of the balance of trade. 

However far one goes back into the remote history of our 
country, one finds not, indeed, the word "statistics," for 
that did not come until later, but the thing for which the 
word stands. Enumerations are contemporaneous with 
the establishment of a regular administration, and, like it, 
they owe their origin, by a tradition a little obscure some- 
times but none the less certain, to the powerful organization 
which the Romans left on the soil of the Provinces of Gaul. 
The enumerations were made as well as might be with the 
limited means at the disposal of a rudimentary public service. 
They are very imperfect, but they exist, and they correspond 
in point of efficiency to the administrative institutions of 
the times. 

What explains and excuses the error of those who refuse 
to see them, is that in the absence of an organization with 
the especial duty of making these enumerations they lie 
buried and hidden under the mass of work done by the 
general government of the state; moreover, the documents 
which reveal their existence are extremely rare; their pres- 
ence is more easily conjectured than discovered; and in 
order to find traces of them it is necessary to apply oneself 
to long and difficult researches like those excavations which 
are undertaken in certain countries to bring to light the 
remains of buried cities. 

Nothing serves better than the history of statistics to 

* See in this connection: StaMstique GinSrale de la France, Historique el iravaux 
de la fin du XVIIKme slide au dihvi du XXhne, 1913, p. 6. 


reveal to us the narrow bonds which unite this form of the 
study of facts with the work of the political and administra- 
tive institutions of a country. Indeed, one might say that 
in tracing the history of applied statistics we are writing one 
of the most interesting chapters in the history of institutions. 

On the one hand, indeed, are the departments of public 
service which, alone, up to the nineteenth century, have 
made enumerations and have made them only to the extent 
demanded by the necessities of their work. So, on the other 
hand, in our time individuals and private societies can make 
enumerations in the very limited domain with which they 
are concerned. But only the state is capable of enumerating 
regularly the enormous amount of social phenomena numer- 
ical knowledge of which is indispensable for the develop- 
ment of its departments of service and is in the interest of 
the several phenomena themselves. One must go still 
further. It is necessary to add that in making a census of 
social phenomena which no private initiative would be able 
to reach, the state fulfills one of its duties which is just as 
essential as guaranteeing order and safety. To the old 
formula by which the uncompromising individualists 
summed up the attributes of public authority: "The state, 
soldier, judge and policeman," we must add a fourth epithet, 
statistician. The state ought to be statistician as it ought 
to be soldier, judge and policeman, because the function of 
' statistics answers a need of the most general order and be- 
cause the state alone is in a position to discharge that func- 
tion well. 

In reviewing the long evolution of statistics in France, we 
may distinguish four periods corresponding to four historical 
epochs (moments) which are fairly definite and have rather 
precise characteristics. 

I. From the Eighth to the Thirteenth Century. 

II. From the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century. 

III. The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. 

IV. The Nineteenth Century. 

For each of these periods, however difficult it may be for 


those that are farthest away from us, we shall try to answer, 
a little more clearly than has been done hitherto, the three 
following questions: 

A. By whom and how was the science of statistics founded? 

B. What was the object of it? 

C. In what sort of documents were the data of statistics 
written and preserved? 

I. Statistics in France from the Eighth to the Thirteenth 


The period of nearly six hundred years which we shall 
try to embrace in this paragraph, opens in 752, the first 
year of the reign of Pepin the Short, the first of the Carlo- 
vingian kings, and extends to the death of Philip the Fair, 
in November 1314. 

There is nothing in the Middle Ages which recalls, even 
remotely, the institution of the Roman censura, so imposing 
in its redoubtable authority and so strongly specialized in 
its function of census-taking. In that period we find no 
trace of a defined organization appointed to make the neces- 
sary enumerations. This task was entrusted, without the 
slightest inkling of a division of labor, to the officials of the 
rudimentary governmental departments of the French mon- 
archy at their very beginning. We may assert that they did 
the work incompetently and without method and that their 
labors had not the remotest relation to the census, solemn, 
almost sacred in character, which the Roman censor was 
required to make every five years. 

The enumerations so made were essentially limited and 
fragmentary, and nothing justifies us in believing that they 
were periodically renewed. 

The essential object of all the official registrations of that 
time was land. Land, because in those days it was the prin- 
cipal, if not the only, source of power, of wealth, and because 
its multiple divisions and subdivisions were the basis of the 
feudal system. The possession of land had such vital 
interest for those who controlled it that they could not 


afford not to know about it. And that is why everybody 
whose estate was of a certain size submitted it to a minute 
inventory which constituted a real census. It was an 
imperative need which had to be satisfied at any cost and 
which was imposed not only on the king himself and his 
domains but also on all the community-holdings of the 
private orders which held such a great place in medieval so- 
ciety, on churches, abbeys, monasteries. The property of 
these communities was sometimes so important that its 
registration was imposed by royal authority, or, at any rate, 
royal authority thought it ought to take a hand in it. So 
it came about that on their accession to power Pepin the 
Short in 758 and Charlemagne in 762 ordered the detailed 
description of church lands. The Polyptiques, of which we 
shall speak presently and which constitute the statistical 
documents par excellence of this period, were essentially a 
registry of the land. 

Demographical Statistics in the Middle Ages 

From the earliest times in Rome and during the whole of 
the Republic and the Empire the census is, by definition, a 
work intended to give the number of the population with its 
essential divisions according to age and sex. And that is 
what it is in our time, in all civilized countries that we know. 
Enumeration of the people (demography) is everywhere, as 
in Rome, the main branch of statistics. K we open a copy 
of an Annuaire Statistique, one of those volumes in which the 
intention is to gather together every year all statistical data 
through which the life of a country is set forth, we see that 
the first place there is always reserved for the statistics of 
population. And that seems to us very natural. Is not 
the first need of an organized society to know itself and to 
take as the measure of its strength the knowledge of the 
number of individuals who compose it? 

Why was it otherwise from the eighth to the fourteenth 
centuries? It is not difficult to see why. 

The general census of the population of a country presup- 


poses a public authority powerfully organized and strong 
enough to break down the resistances which a work of this 
kind inevitably encounters. This authority did not exist 
in the period with which we are dealing. 

But to this reason, which in itself is enough, can be added 
another. As a matter of fact the population was not left 
completely out of the census of that period. It was included 
in it automatically and incidentally. Without being the 
object of it, the enumeration of the people was a result. 
Take the case of the rural population: composed in large 
part of peasants and of serfs, it was all alike attached to 
the soil; it was part and parcel of the land and so naturally 
found itself included in the land-census. The Polyptique 
de I'AbhS Irminon as well as the Cartulaire de VAlbaye de 
Reims and the Description des Serfs de I'Eglise de Marseille, 
which date, like the Polyptique, from the first half of the 
ninth century, afford us the striking proof of this. Was it a 
question of the industrial population which was almost all 
grouped in the cities? Without counting it one could esti- 
mate it by some one of the measures which the nascent 
fiscal system of the monarchy demanded. Thus thanks to 
the Ksts of taxes (tailles) levied in Paris in 1292 and in 1300, 
we possess a registration, street by street, of all the artisans 
subject to the tax. They number, for the manual and 
mechanical trades alone, 4,159 in 1292 and 5,844 in 1300.* 

This much is certain, and it is not one of the least char- 
acteristic traits of French statistics in the Middle Ages, 
that population was never the direct and principal object 
of a census; they never dreamed of setting to work to enu- 
merate the total population of France; the public powers of 
that time, whether they were in the vigorous hands of a 
Philip Augustus (1180-1223) or of a Philip the Fair (1285- 
1314), were content to remain ignorant of the number of the 
population subject to their authority, and they preferred 
to increase it by ceaseless conquests rather than know it 
exactly by careful census. 

* See the details on this subject given by M. Fagniez, Etudes aur I'lnduiirie i 
Paris aux Xllllme et au XlVime si^cle, p. 6. 


Are we not, then, safe in saying, as our learned master 
Emile Levasseur says in his great work, La Papulation Fran- 
gaise (Vol. I, p. 154) : "One may, without fear of error, when 
one considers the two extremes of the period, assert that the 
total population of France increased considerably from the 
ninth to the fourteenth century, if not everywhere and in a 
continuous manner, at least taken as a whole." 

This suggestion rests on pure hypotheses. But of one of 
them, the figure for the population in the ninth century, 
this is what Levasseur himself tells us in a passage near the 
one we have just quoted "From these data (those of the 
Polyptique of Irminon) it is not possible to draw an hypothesis 
suflficiently sound as to the numerical state of the population 
in the Frankish empire." (See ib., p. 134.) 

Among the scattered fragments of demographical statis- 
tics of this time which ought to be noted, we shall mention 
some figures which relate to the military organization. The 
great interest which that organization held for the feudal 
monarchy of the twelfth and the thirteenth century suffi- 
ciently explains the application of enumerations to the enroll- 
ment of the armies. A document known as a prisSe, the 
date of which is placed between 1190 and 1202, gives the 
figures for the armed contingent due Philip Augustus from 
the commoners (roturiers) and the communes. That was a 
new military resource which the feudal monarchy had not 
obtained without great effort. The figures for the contin- 
gent due from the cities and the communes are foimd in a 
document of a somewhat later date; for the eight bailiwicks 
of Sentis, Vermandois, Orleans, Bourges, Sens, Paris, Amiens 
and Gisors they amounted to 6,270 sergents with 153 chariots. 
Finally, we have for the year 1231 a fairly detailed Ust of 
the troops sent by St. Louis against the Count of Brittany, 
and we find there precious information as to the composition 
of the royal army at that time.* 

* See in Etudes sur le RSgime Financier de la France atant 1789, by Vuitry, the 
interesting chapter devoted to military service under the monarchy from Hugh 
Capet to Philip the Fair (pp. 372-384). 


Financial Statistics in the Middle Ages 

After the land and its inhabitants there is, in every 
organized society and even in a society on the way to organi- 
zation, a subject which it is impossible to avoid measuring 
numerically, that is, financial facts, the total of receipts and 
expenses which are inseparable from the very existence of 
the state, however modest their character. The most 
embryonic of financial systems cannot be conceived in prac- 
tice without the aid of statistics. The domain of finance is 
essentially the domain of figures and, consequently, that of 
statistics. In it one makes statistical enumerations with- 
out intending to and without suspecting it, as Monsieur 
Jourdain spoke prose, and even those individuals or states 
of whom one sometimes says they spend without counting 
do not succeed in escaping it long. 

That there were in the Middle Ages public finances and, 
consequently, financial facts no one can doubt. That gives 
us the right to say that there were also financial statistics. 
But it is hardly necessary to add that the value of those 
statistics depends closely on the worth of the departments of 
public service whose duty it was to prepare them. And one 
can understand without difficulty that the financial statis- 
tics of the feudal monarchy reflect all the imperfections of 
its financial organization. These imperfections are well 
known, and we need not recite them here.* 

* There exists an immense literature on the finances of Ancient Prance. See 
Stourm, Bibliographie HiMorique des Finances de la France au XVIIIime Siicle 
IV, in -8°, 1895. To those who wish to find in detail the organization of finan- 
cial statistics in the organization of Finance itself we shall confine ourselves to 
citing: among ancient authors Jean Hennequin, Le Guidon Qen&ral des Finan- 
ciers, 1585, in -12°. This book is hard to read, but it is extremely instruc- 
tive in all that concerns financial organization from the fall of the Roman 
Empire to the sixteenth century. Among the moderns: Vuitry, Etudes sur le 
Regime Financier de la France avani 1783, 3 Vols. g. in -8°, 1878-1883, bearing on 
the period between the fifth century and the end of the fourteenth. — Bouchard, 
Systhm Financier de I'Ancienne Monarchic, in -8°, 1891. — Glasson, Histaire du 
Droit et des Institutions de la France, Vol. V, pp. 490-546, and Vol. VI, pp. 1- 
152. — Brissaud, Histoire G&n&rale du Droit Fransais public et privi. Vol. I, pp. 


We possess only a small number of documents of financial 
statistics of this time, and moreover they are for the most 
part obscure and full of lacunas. When several of them 
bear on the same facts, their figures are often very different 
and nothing explains the differences. All their figures are 
approximate and uncertain and ought not to be accepted 
without reserve. And there is the strongest reason for dis- 
trusting figures set down for us by historians who were 
ingenious rather than learned, who do not resist strongly 
enough the temptation to reconstruct out of whole cloth a 
vanished past. Do they not pretend to give us exactly 
the Bvdget des recettes et des dSpenses de la Monarchic, 
under Philip Augustus (1180-1223), under St. Louis (1226- 
1270) and under Philip the Fair (1285-1314)? The unfor- 
tunate thing is that it is much to be feared that they are 
creating a work of imagination as well as of science. The 
truth, as Vuitry very justly says (Vol. I, p. 303, nouvelle 
serie), is that "the ancient monarchy never had a real 
budget: at the beginning of the fourteenth century neither 
receipts nor expenses were yet of such nature that they 
could be seriously assessed in order to be as a consequence 
checked by the government.* 

Land Statistics of the Middle Ages 

We have no statistical document especially concerned 
either with the population or with the finances between the 
eighth century and the fourteenth. But the case is other- 
wise with the land. The agricultural exploitations which 
the land sustains are the object of enumerations the results 
of which were habitually inscribed on a polyptique, that is to 
say, according to the etymology of the word, a sheet folded 
several times. 

It is the polyptique which at this time replaces or com- 
pletes the census which the Roman Empire had established 

* The statute of January 19, 1314, one of the last acts of Philip the Fair, has as its 
object not so much to constitute a budget as to divide by specializing them, from the 
point of view of expenses to pay, the Treasury of the Temple and that of the Louvre. 



in its provinces to serve as a basis for the division of imposts. 
We have been more fortunate with it than with the tabulce 
censorcB of Rome. Of those not a vestige remains. One 
easily understands why when one considers the revolutions 
of which Rome and her provinces were the theater. On 
the contrary, we possess remarkable fragments of polyp- 

One of the most important and most justly celebrated is 
the Polyptique of the Abbey of Saint Germain-des-Pr6s, 
known as the Polyptique de I'abbS Irminon, after the man 
through whose eflforts and under whose direction it was 
established in the year 806.* 

The extent of the domain of the abbey is estimated by 
Gu6rard to have been 430,000 hectares, about the area of 
one of our medium French departments. But the details 
contained in the Polyptique are limited to 221,000 hectares 
situated in the departments of the Seine, Seine-et-Oise, 
Seine-et-Marne, Eure-et-Loir, Orne, Eure, and Indre. 
These details deal with the difiFerent categories of land, with 
the alleux, lands free from impost and rent, and with the 
h6n6fices, lands burdened with different sorts of rent in 
exchange for the assured protection of the lord. The tenures 
or manses included in the category of bSn^ices are by far 
the most numerous. There were 1,646 of them as against 
24 seigneurial tenures.f A separate paragraph is devoted 
to each Mn^fice; the extent and composition of the tenure, 
from the point of view of the different varieties of culture 
found there, are indicated as well as the names of the tenants, 
those of their wives and children, and thus it is that some 

♦ The text of this polyptigve was published in 1834 by Guerard. The work in 8 
volumes which this scholar, in 1844, devoted to the Polyptique of Abb6 Irminon, 
with its prolegomena, its commentaries and elucidations, is of great interest both 
for the history of statistics and for the economic and social history of the Middle 
Ages. Another French scholar, M. Longnon, published in 1886, in docimients 
relating to the history of the City of Paris, a new edition of the Polyptique of Irminon. 

t In each holding was a dwelling house of varying importance. The 24 seigneu- 
rial tenures covered a surface of 204,000 hectares, of which 197,600 were woodland. 
The 1,646 tributary tenures occupied only 15,000 hectares, of which 152 were wood- 


elements of dempgraphical statistics are found mingled with 
land statistics. 

One would like to know what precisely was the nature 
and value of this document. But in this regard we lack 
exact and sure information. It is nevertheless permissible 
to suppose that the Polyptique of Saint Germain-des-Pr6s 
was more than a document of a private nature drawn up by 
the Abbott Irminon to facilitate the administration of the 
domains which came under his authority. It was rather an 
official and authentic document. This character was im- 
pressed on it by the intervention of officers of the king, in 
whose presence were made, by those interested, declarations 
which served as a basis for the census. It could constitute 
a true registry-book for property and a civil census of people. 
One has every ground for believing that, once established, 
it was continued indefinitely; one knows indeed that the 
changes which supervened in the condition of property or 
in that of people could be mentioned there. The Polyptique 
of Irminon bears the trace of numerous changes of this kind 
and the blank spaces which one notices at the close of the 
chapters seem intended to receive them. 

For the other polyptiques of this epoch, drawn up by order 
of the kings, the bishops or the abbotts, we shall confine our- 
selves to referring to the list of them which Gu6rard gives 
(Vol. I, pp. 18-25) and to completing it by the mention of the 
Polyptique of the Church of Saint Paul, at Lyon, which 
contains the enumeration of tenants, possessions, rents and 
revenues of that church in the thirteenth century.* 

The word polyptique, moreover, was not by any means 
the only word used to designate statistical tables dealing 
with the land. The word had both synonyms and deriva- 
tives. Its synonyms were breviarium, rationarium, capitu- 
latium, inventarium, planarium. Its derivatives were pole- 
ticum, puleticum, puletum, pulegium, whence came the word 
pouilU as applied especially to the estate of the b6nefices 
of a diocese, of an abbey, of a monastery. 

* This Polyptique was published in 1875 by M. Guigne, 1 Vol. in-4°. 


//. Statistics in France from the Beginning of the Fourteenth 
Century to the End of the Sixteenth 

As in the preceding period, enumerations are limited to 
the satisfaction of essential needs of public authority, and 
one has difficulty in discovering here any trace of appre- 
ciable improvement. They remain very imperfect because 
they continue to be carried out without method by the 
automatic and unconscious play of a still rudimentary ad- 

There take place, however, between the beginning of the 
fourteenth century and the end of the sixteenth, between 
Philip the Fair and Henry IV, some changes which are of 
great importance in the history of statistics in France. 

Enumerations become much more frequent. They are 
not better made, but they increase in the more and more 
extended domain over which the royal power is exercised; 
and that is to end by attracting the attention of those who 
reflect on the conditions of good state administration. Thus 
well before the end of the sixteenth century Jean Bodin, in 
his Six Limes de la RSpublique, is to write that admirable 
chapter on la Censure in which we find for the first time the 
necessity of enumerations set forth with so much force and 
proved so ingeniously. 

The increasing extension of royal power is the only, the 
profound cause of the development of statistics in France 
from the fourteenth to the end of the sixteenth century. 
That extension manifests itself in two ways, by police 
measures [and by fiscal measures; police measures and fiscal 
measures which are inspired by very different considerations 
but which are very often closely connected and the execu- 
tion of which, in any case, cannot be conceived without 
numerical knowledge of the things and persons to which 
they apply. 


The First Applications of Economic Statistics 

The police measures arise from the economic policy of 
the monarchy. A policy of intervention and excessive 
regulation which equals, if it does not sometimes surpass, 
the regulation by which our contemporary socialists imagine 
social progress can be realized, and the chief end of which, 
loudly proclaimed, was the protection of consumers. It 
was a question of safeguarding their interests by rendering 
impossible their exploitation by the producers and especially 
by the tradesmen. The pretension was to keep the popula- 
tion not only from absolute lack of indispensable necessi- 
ties, from famine, but from want and even simply from high 
prices. To this end it was necessary to be master of produc- 
tion, transportation and markets, it was necessary to render 
obligatory the conditions and forms of sale and to limit the 
price by establishing a maximum. Well, how could that 
be brought about without incessant enumerations to make 
known the quantities produced, the quantities brought to 
market and the quantities demanded? 

The monarchy soon learned the advantage it could gain 
from the organization of the trades in corporations to extend 
first over Paris and its vicomtS, then over the rest of France, 
the close- woven mail-shirt of its policy of intervention. 
That is why it applied itself so carefully to the work of 
organization. Its eflForts were crowned with success from 
the beginning of the fourteenth century,* and they resulted 
in transforming into an instrument of economic tyranny 
institutions which had, at first, protected the liberty of the 
workers. So we learn the existence and forms of certain 
enumerations from the regulations of the corporations. 

Corn was throughout the ancient regime, almost equally 
with money, the merchandise par excellence, the regulation 
of which has most often occupied public authority. 

* So King Charles V could assert in 1372 without arousing any objection: "qu'au 
Toi seul appartient et pour le tout en son royaume et non k autre, d'octroyer et d'or- 
donner toutes foires et tous marches" (to the king belongs for the whole of his king- 
dom and not to another the right to license and control all markets). See Glasson, 
Histoire du Droit et dea Institutiona de la France, Vol. VI, p. 39. 


Beside the corporation of talemeliers (bakers) and that of 
hlatiers (corn merchants), there is mentioned in theiifre des 
MStiers of Etienne Boileau, Prev6t of Paris from 1254 to 
1271, the corporation of measurers. To this corporation 
belongs the honor of having been for the first time especially 
called upon to fulfill a statistical function. 

The measurers were authorized to measure corn sold in 
the Paris market every time the quantity exceeded a setier, 
about 156 litres of corn. But their intermediary r6le be- 
tween merchants and buyers was not confined to measuring. 
It extended to the verification and guarantee of the quality 
and of the price.* 

They were also called upon to know most of the business 
transacted in the market. The only thing that could escape 
them was the retail sales, that is to say, sales which involved 
quantities not exceeding a setier. So it became the custom 
to ask them to make out the memoranda of transactions 
in which they had a hand. In this regard an ordinance of 
the PrSvot des Marchands drawn during the reign of Charles 
VII, July 2, 1438, reads as follows: "They shall be required 
to certify and to report every Saturday in the presence of 
the Clerk of the PrivotS of Paris the price which corn {blS- 
froment) shall have been valued at that day and the indication 
of the quantities sold, also the transaction in grain at the 
highest price at which it shall have been sold, together with 
the places where the said grain shall be believed to be." 
And the ordinance of 1438, which probably did nothing more 
than regulate a custom already ancient, was confirmed by 
three others of December 12, 1471, November 23, 1546, 
and November 21, 1577. 

This is a remarkable example of the application of sta- 
tistics to some of the most important facts of economic life. 
One could surely find other examples of it. There were 
from the first, always in everything that concerned corn, 
enumerations which were not periodic but rendered neces- 

* See in I'Histoire GSn4rale de Paris, the volume devoted to the Livre dea MMieri, 
by Etienne Boileau, with the Introduction by Messrs. de Mespinasse and Bonnardot, 
p. XXVI of the Introduction and pp. 18-20 of the text. 


sary by accidental circumstances. So in 1304 the price of 
corn in Paris having reached the figure, which was thought 
altogether extraordinary, of 5 and 6 livres a setier, Philip 
the Fair ordered the PrhSt des Marchands to have a census 
made of all the corn harvested in the vicomtS of Paris, to 
leave the quantity necessary for local consumption and to 
have the rest brought to the nearest market. The same 
thing was done in the reign of Charles VI in 1391.* 

And it is not only the census of corn but also that of many 
other commodities, wine and meat among others, which had 
to be more or less regularly taken. The gaugers formed a 
corporation whose business it was to do for liquids what 
the measurers did for grain. Why should not they likewise 
have checked up the quantities brought to market and the 
prices? The statutes of the profession of butcher, though 
they go back to Philip Augustus (1180 to 1223), do not 
figure, one does not know just why, in the Livre des Metiers. 
But we know from the author of Minagier de Paris (1393) 
that they knew at that time the number of butcher-shops in 
Paris, the number of butchers and even the number of head 
of cattle delivered each week for consumption.! 

Perhaps it may be remarked that the different enumera- 
tions of which we have just spoken apply only to the vicomtS 
of Paris. That is true. But we shall ask that it also be 
noticed, on the one hand, that the vicomtS of Paris was from 
the beginning of the fourteenth century one of the most 
important territorial and administrative divisions of the 
realm,J and on the other hand, that according to the just 
observation of Delamare§ "the policy pursued in the Paris 
markets influences all the other cities of the realm." 

* See Fagniez, Etude sur Vlnduslrie d. Paris au XIII ime et a XIV erne SHcle, pp. 

t See Fagniez, loe. dt. pp. 181-182. According to the M^nagier de Paris the 
number of head of live stock consumed each week in Paris was 3,626 sheep, 583 
beef, 377 veal, 592 swine. 

t The vicmnU of Paris, which was to become later the glnSralitS of Paris, included, 
about 1328, 567 parishes and 113,786 families. See Levasseur, La Population 
Frangaise, Vol. I, p. 156. 

§ See TraiU de la Police, 4 vols. in-4°, 1722, Vol. II, pp. 79-80. 


But two measures of a general incontestable character 
were adopted, one under Francis I, by the ordinance of 
Villers-Cotterets (August, 1539), the other under Charles 
IX by the edict of the chancelier Biragne (1572). The first 
made it obligatory for the municipal authorities of each 
seneschal town or baiUwick (chef-lieu de sSnSchaussSe ou 
bailliage) to draw up a weekly statement of provisions, corn, 
wine, hay and other such merchandise. The second made 
it obligatory to draw up a semi-annual statement of the 
condition of the harvests.* 

The trades plied and the markets held in the urban cen- 
ters were not the only things regulated at this period. 
Agriculture was, too, and here, as always, regulation often 
had as a condition and as a result the making of an enumera- 
tion. Thus when Charles IX wished to limit, by an edict 
promulgated in 1566, the area devoted to vineyards to a 
third of all arable lands, one can hardly admit that such a 
decision was made unless it was based on the data furnished 
by some sort of enumeration.! 

Finally, we should not forget that maritime commerce, 
eveli that, from the thirteenth century, was subject to numer- 
ous and minute regulations. In Atlantic ports, as in those 
on the Mediterranean, imports and exports were closely 
watched by agents in the service of the king. These agents 
were under a high ojEcial created by Philip the Fair, ordi- 
nance of February 1, 1305, under the name of Maitre de» 
Fonts et Passages, in whom we can discern the distant an- 
cestor of our present Director General of Customs. The 
customs system instituted in the first half of the fourteenth 
century looked after exportations particularly, sometimes 
to prohibit them altogether, sometimes to load them with 
heavy duties. By an ordinance of December, 1324, these 

* See Levasseur, Note sut Vorganizaiion du service des subsiMances et la publication 
dea Mercuriales, XXVeme anniversaire de la SocUU de Siatistigue de Paris (1886)^ 
p. 192 et seg. 

t See Moreau de Jonn&s, Etai Economique et Social de la France de 1689 d 1715„ 
p. is et seq. 


duties had to be established according to the nature and 
quantity of the objects exported without regard to their 
value. All this regulation, which was extremely complex, 
for its aims were at once political, economic and fiscal, could 
not go on without real enumerations.* Their results un- 
fortunately have not come down to us because they were 
not methodically collected and preserved. We assume 
their existence rather than prove it. But how many proofs 
lack the strength of the hypothesis which we establish 

Financial Statistics 

After the enumerations, chiefly of an economic order, of 
which we have just spoken, it remains for us to say a word 
about the financial and the demographic enumerations. 

From the beginning of the fourteenth century financial 
enumerations assume an importance which increases inces- 
santly up to the French Revolution. This is easily explained 
by the fact that all the kings of France, without exception, 
have been in need of money and for them financial questions 
were the vital questions. And here it is not an hypothesis, 
which we are laying down: it is a fact which we verify and 
which impresses the mind of the attentive observer more and 
more forcibly as the financial departments of public service 
extend and grow strong. In the period which we are now 
considering, as in the preceding period, the historian of 
statistics ought always to remember that the domain of 
finance is essentially the domain of numbers; that to engage 
in finance is to count at the same time as to pay, and that 
any financial service whatever in order to function must 
make enumerations. Consequently, for us to be justified 
in asserting the existence of financial statistics from the 
fourteenth century to the sixteenth and even to some extent 
in estimating the value of those statistics, it is suflBcient for 
us to know the mechanism and the method of procedure of 

* See, for the maritime commerce of France from the twelfth century on, 
Levasseur, Hiataire du Commerce en France, Vol. I, pp. 147-174, and Glasson, loe. 
eit. Vol. VI, pp. 35-43. 


the financial institutions of the time. Now, from PhiHp 
Augustus on, the rich and abundant collection of Ordinances 
of the French Kings and books of the type of that of Jean 
Hennequin, Le Guidon Giniral des Financiers (1585), throw 
full light on the subject. 

The French monarchy did not possess the resources of a 
permanent, obligatory impost prior to 1439, and before 
1498 a budget was almost unknown in the sense which we 
give the word today, namely, an annual detailed tabulation 
of the expenses and receipts of the state. But well before 
1498, even before 1439, the monarchy had organized in a 
substantial way its system of public accounts both as regards 
expenditures and as regards receipts. 

It was forced to this by the double necessity of yielding to 
the will of those {Etats-GSnSraux, Seigneurs, ClergS) who 
granted it taxes which it had not yet the power to impose on 
them, and to protect itself against the waste with which its 
treasury was continuously threatened. The two tresoriers 
gSniraux existing under Philip the Fair, one of the Temple, 
the other of the Louvre, rendered their accounts to the king 
himself. One finds in the Bibliotheque Nationale the journal, 
written in Latin, of one of these treasurers for the years 1298 
to 1307 with detailed entries, day by day, of all expendi- 
tures and all receipts. It is one of the rare original financial 
documents of the time which we possess.* But the con- 
trol was much strengthened when Philip the Fair, by the 
ordinance of April 20, 1309, transformed the Chambre aux 
Deniers into the Chambre des Comptes, and when the latter 
was definitely organized, under the reign of Philip the Fair, 
by the ordinance of July 13, 1318.t 

Now, what are the laws of accounting and comptroUing 
but the natural frame-work of financial statistics? When it 

*See Glasson, loc. cii. Vol. VL p. 92. 

t The organization of the Chambre des Comptes was completed and strengthened 
by the celebrated ordinance of May 26, 1413, after the revolt of the Cabochiens. 
One may find on this subject interesting details in the thoroughly documented 
book by M. Coville, Les Cabochiens et I'ordinance de H13. (Book I, Ch. Ill and 
Book IV, Ch. II.) 


is a question of receipts and expenditures, whether ordinary 
or extraordinary, temporary or permanent, it is impossible 
to set them down in the account books and to make a peri- 
odic statement of them to an authority invested with the 
power of supervision, without giving an enumeration of 
them. That is true in our time. It could not be otherwise 
in the period we are considering. 

The next question is what was the value of these financial 
enumerations and the statistical doquments to which their 
results had to be consigned? A very small number of these 
documents have come down to us, which is very natural, if 
one remembers that they were relatively rather rare, that 
they were strictly confidential, and that in the absence of 
archives their preservation was not well insured. At the 
same time we may believe that their quality was very medio- 
cre. Everything conspired to falsify the figures of financial 
statistics in this period from the fourteenth century to the 
sixteenth which was constantly confused by war, foreign war 
and civil, and in which over the head of our kings the real 
sovereign was almost always anarchy. Those who disposed 
of public revenues, the comptrollers (comptables) and the 
paymasters (ordonnateurs), for they had been separated as 
early as the fourteenth century, were often dishonest. 
Examples of their malversations were numerous. The 
Chambre des Comptes itself was sometimes their accomplice.* 
Its heads and clerks did not hesitate to alter the figures when 
they saw a chance of profit. 

And when the figures furnished were not falsified by those 
who had set them down, they were often falsified by those 
who had to make use of them. They were often falsified by 
the king himself. And here are two examples borrowed from 
the history of the Etats G6n6raux held at Tours in 1484. 
The receipts from the domain of Normandy were put at 22,000 
livres; a deputy from the province rose to declare that there 
were in the assembly people ready to put it at 40,000. The 
province of Burgundy reported annually 80,000 livres. 

* See Glasson, loc. dt. Vol. VI, pp. 124 and 126. 


The representative of the king ascribed to it a revenue of 

The figures were falsified also by the contemporaneous 
publicists who tried to rouse public opinion about the de- 
plorable administration of the finances of the state and who 
succeeded, thanks to the indiscretions of the king's officials, 
in rescuing from the mystery with which they were sur- 
rounded scattered fragments of budgets and accounts. For 
it is in the diatribes of the opponents of royal power and 
not in the original and authentic documents that we find 
the rare data of financial statistics of this period. 

One of the most curious books in this respect, which saw 
the light during the second half of the sixteenth century 
(1581) and which it is fitting to mention in the history of 
French statistics, is Le Secret des Finances de France dScou- 
vert et dSparti en trois livres, by Nicolas Froumenteau. It 
reveals to us at the same time the importance and the 
defects of financial statistics in this unhappy period of the 
history of our country. It is rich in figures, even the figures 
which the king had refused to communicate to representa- 
tives of the Etats held at Blois in 1577, and the author finds 
there at once proof of the marvelous richness of France 
and of the extravagances committed to the detriment of the 
royal treasury. But it is difficult to take them seriously. 
Froumenteau carefully refrains from indicating the source of 
them just as he takes care not to let us know his real name,* 
and he renders them suspect by the unrestrained passion 
with which he makes use of them. Under his pen the figures 
become a political weapon and they seem intended to con- 
trovert rather than to explain. His work has nothing in 
common with "one of the first methodical essays in statis- 
tics" which Maurice Blockf found it to be. It is not, 

* The probable author of the Secret des Finances de France is a protestant publicist, 
Nicolas Bamaud du Crest, who occupied an impoitant place in his party. (See 
Noutelle Biographie Universelie, — ^Didot — , Vol. 18, p. 952.) 

t See TraiU Thiorique el Pratique de Siatistigue, 2d Edit., p. 34. 


moreover, as Baudrillart called it,* "the real point of depart- 
ure of the history of French statistics." And we refuse to 
admit with M. Espinasf that the Frenchman of the six- 
teenth century, hidden under the pseudonym Froumenteau, 
is "the first who knew how to handle the instrument par 
excellence of political economy, statistics." Le Secret des 
Finances is the work of a politician, not that of a statistician. 
It is a pamphlet, full of spirit, to be sure, and full of truth 
at bottom, aimed at the odious and scandalous administra- 
tion of the Valois. It is not a statistical document. 

Demographic Statistics 

Between the first years of the fourteenth century and the 
end of the sixteenth, enumeration of the French population, 
as we practice it today, was wholly unknown. But in 
default of enumerations of individuals, there were enumera- 
tions of groups, such as towns, villages and parishes, families 
and households. The enumeration of households is far 
the most frequent and also very probably the most carefully 
done. The household, indeed, was not only a demographic 
unit, it was also a fiscal unit; it was not only a home (foyer), 
a menage, it was a quota of taxation, and upon it, even 
before they became permanent and obligatory, were imposed 
the subsidies demanded by the king. 

"Etats de subsides" was the name given to documents to 
which were consigned the results of enumerations of parishes 
and households undertaken in the territory of the royal 
<lomain with a view to establishing direct imposts gathered 
for the benefit of the king in the time when, in order to get 
them, he had to appeal to the good will of the contributors, 
"They were tax-lists rather than statistics of population," 
^ays Emile Levasseur. J We beg the learned master's pardon. 
Statistics of population were the basis of the Stats de subsides. 
No doubt the purpose behind it was fiscal rather than demo- 

* See Dea TMories PoUtiques et des IdSes Economique) au XV lime aUcle, p. 87, 
«nd to the same effect, Levasseur, La Population Frangaise, Vol. I, p. 55. 
t See Histoire des Doctrines Economiques, p. 166. 
% See La PojndaHon Frarmaise, Vol. I, p. 169, note 2. 


graphic. But that did not alter the nature of it. It was 
population statistics as they were then understood and 

The Mats de subsides were drawn up as need might arise, 
by functionaries called " Commissaires" du rai. They were 
not periodic, and that is easy to understand because up to 
1439 only exceptional circumstances justified the demand 
for subsidies. Some applied to the entire kingdom, with its 
divisions and subdivisions into bailiwicks, sSnSchaussSes, 
seigneuries (chdtellenies), shires (vicomtSs) and cities; others 
applied only to one of these divisions and subdivisions. 
The more extensive were naturally the more infrequent. 
Their contents were not fixed in an invariable fashion. 
The number of parishes and households, the figure of re- 
ceipts to be collected seem to be the minimum of data which 
we find gathered together in them. In certain manuscripts* 
it is a question of the name of the inhabitants and an esti- 
mate of their property. But it could only be a question of 
the heads of the households and their patrimony. 

Dureau de la Malle discovered in 1829, among the manu- 
scripts in our Archives Nationales and in our Bibliotheqtie 
Nationcde, the text of an Stat de subside drawn up in the 
course of the first half of the fourteenth century, probably 
on the occasion of the Flemish war, under the title: "C'est 
la manihre comme le subside jut fait pour I'ost (armSe) de 
Flandre et que il Tnonta; ce qu'on peut trouver par les contes 
rendus";^ it constitutes, together with the memoranda of the 
intendants of the last years of the seventeenth century, a 
capital document of demographic statistics under the ancient 
rigime, though it belongs to a time when imposts had not 
yet become permanent and obligatory. There is difference 
of opinion as to what date ought to be assigned to it. Some 
refer it back to the year 1328, and others to the year 1345.^ 

* See the manuscript cited by Levasseur (loc. dt.) relating to the legistiation of 
the assessments (rSpartition) of the households of Castel Sarrozin, 1414. 

t "This is the way the subsidy was made for the host (army) of Flanders and 
what it amounted to; which can be found in the accounts rendered" — Tr. 

t See Dureau de la Malle, MSmoires de I'AcadSmie des Inscription et Belles Lettres, 


But that is a small matter and does not detract from the 
interest presented by the figures which we find there, those 
for the parishes and those for the households, between 1304 
and 1345, in the territory which then constituted the royal 
domain and which equalled about half the actual area of 
France. These figures are given separately by chdtellenies 
and towns for the vicomtS of Paris, by bailiwicks and sSnS- 
chatissSes for the rest of the realm. They amount in total 
to 24,150 for the parishes and 2,411,149 for the households. 
They are and can be only approximate, but they are by far 
the most trustworthy that we have, and it is going too far 
to pretend with M. d'Avenel that they ought to be con- 
sidered "of no value from the point of view of population" 
or to speak with Moreau de Jonn^s of "their unbelievable 
results" (leur incroyables rSsuUats). 

What diminishes their value, but without destroying it, 
is the extreme difficulty which one finds in basing on them 
a&vestimate of the figure for the total population of the 
epoc^ In the first place, indeed, we have no way of know- 
fib^ ^^ctly how many persons made up a household. It 
■migr^ run from one or two persons to five or six or even 
more, according to whether it consisted of a celibate or of a 
numerous family, and as for discovering a plausible average 
figure, we shall have to give that up, for we lack every ele- 
ment necessary for a serious calculation. Even those who 
will not give it up, and they are many, must recognize that 
the composition of a household varied according to the 
period and in the same period according to the district.* 

Vol. 14, 2d Part, p. 36. — Moreau de Jonn^, Etat Economique et Social de la France 
de 1589 d 1716, p. 26. — ^Levasseur, La Population Frangaise, Vol. I, p. 15S and ff. — 
D'Avenel, Histoire Economique de la PropriMi, des Salairea, des DenrSes et de tous let 
Prix en G6n(ral de Pan 1200 a Van 1800, Vol. 3, p. 429 ,and S. — Vintry, Etudes aur le 
Regime FinawAer de la France avant 1789, Vol. II, p. 7 and ff. 

* On the number of persons included in a household one can read with profit, 
besides the passages from Levasseur and M. d'Avenel which we have just cited: 

1. The extended explanations of the word Feux, by I'abbi Expilly in the 3d Vol. 
of his great Dictionnaire GSographique, Historique et Politique des Gaules et de la 
France (6 Vol. in-folio, 1761-1767); 

2. All the fourth chapter of the third book of I'Economie Politique duMoyen- 


And we know, in the second place, that not all the inhabi- 
tants of the country were accounted for in the division 
into households. The nobles and priests did not figure there 
nor did the villeins and serfs who had less than ten livres 
parisis, those whom today we call paupers (indigents). 
Now, we cannot say, even approximately, what in the course 
of the fourteenth century was the number of these different 
categories of people. 

In default of figures furnished by the Mats de subsides we 
have for the fifteenth century and for the second half of the 
sixteenth those that we find in certain writings of the epoch. 
But they generally err by evident exaggeration. Such 
writings are: those of the historian who wrote, in the Grand 
Chroniques de France, the history of the reign of Charles VI 
(1380-1422), and who mentions a count of the year 1404 
which attributes to France 1,700,000 towns and villages;* 
those of Louis Boulenger, author of a pretended cadastre of 
France, ordered by Charles IX, in 1570, who estimated the 
number of towns and villages at 130,000 and the number of 
households at 25,000,000 ;t those of Nicolas Froumenteau 
who reduces the number of households to 4,000,000, but who 
raises the number of "paroisses cm clochiers" to 132,000. 

So it seems that one ought to refuse to follow the learned 
men of our time who pretend to calculate fairly accurately 
either the figure for the total population of France during 
the three centuries which we are considering, or the figure 
for the population of certain cities, notably Paris.f It is 
with these figures as it is with those in which certain authors 
pretend to give us, year by year, from 1200 to our own time. 

Age by Cibrario, Vol. II, pp. 125-136 of the French translation by Bareaud. — 
According to the Italian economist, the household in France, of the first half of the 
fourteenth century must have included at least six persons; this number might 
increase to seven in the great cities, such as Milan, Paris, London, and even to eight 
in the university cities. 

* See Moreau de JonnSs, loc. cU. pp. 16-17. 

t See Moreau de Jonnds, loc. dt. pp. 11-13. 

t See, on the population attributed to Paris and on the very divergent figures 
'which have been proposed: Dupre de Saint-Maur, Essai sur lea Monnaieg (1746), 
pp. 59-63. — Levasseur, loc. cit. Vol. I, pp. 154 ff. — D'Avenel, loc. cit. pp. 430 ff. 


the price of corn, of bread, of cultivable land, of houses.* 
All these tables of prices, dating back to the Middle Ages, 
are, at least for the period between 1200 and 1600, ingenious 
but uncertain constructions. They have only the appearance 
of genuine historical documents. Instead of relying on the 
sure data of regular enumerations, they are made up with 
the aid of isolated figures, drawn from the most diverse 
sources, which are most often the expression of an opinion 
rather than of an established fact. It is well to be especially 
distrustful of them when they contain averages of the sort 
that M. d'Avenel offers us in Vol. II, pp. 882-914, of his 
learned work, Histoire Economique de la PropriitS, des 
Denries, des Salaires et de tous les Prix en GinSral. Prices 
from the thirteenth century to the eighteenth do not lend 
themselves to averages; their extreme diversity either in 
time or in space makes the computing of averages impos- 

Statistics of population are not Uxnited to the enumeration 
of the inhabitants of a country. They extend to the facts 
which determine and variate the figure for the population, 
to marriages, births and deaths. But in order for statistics 

* Not only in France but also in England works of thb sort have been often under- 
taken. We shall confine ourselves to citing for England: 

1. The tables published by Fleetwood, bishop of Ely, in his Chronicon preiioaum, 
printed in London in 1707, covering the years from 1494 to 1706, and continued by 
G. Warden from 1706 to 1740, by warrant of an Act of Parliament. 

2. The numerous figures which one finds in the two works of Thorold Rogers, 
Histoire de V Agriculture et det Prix and Histoire du Travail et des Salaires en 

3. The tables of prices, beginning with the year 1401, which Thomas Tooke 
inserted or cited in the fifth volume, pp. 345-443, of his great work. History of 
Prices 1793 to 1866 (6 Vol. 1858). See Tooke's observations on the value of these 
tables, very different in the different periods, p. 347. 

For France: 

1. The table of "variations arrivies dans le prix de diverses choses pendant le eours 
des cinq demiers siicles lS0S-17iS," published in I'essai sur les Monnaies de 1746, 
by Dupr6 de Saint-Maur. 

i. The table of prices of the setier of com (Paris measure) by Germain Gamier, 
inserted at the end of Vol. I of the Recherehes sur la Nature et les Causes de la Richess 
des Nations by Adam Smith. 

3. The tables of prices which fill Vol. II (914 pp.) of the great work of M. d'Avenel. 



to arrive at these facts, it is necessary that they be regularly 
verified. Here statistics are bound up with civil legislation, 
and on its progress they depend for their progress. Now, 
throughout the Middle Ages and up to the beginning of the 
sixteenth century our civil legislation does not contain a 
single statute concerning the establishment of the facts in 
regard to what we call les actes de I'itat-civil. In this matter 
civil legislation in France has been preceded and prepared 
for by the usages and regulations of a religious character. 
It is not connected by any bond of affiliation with the process 
of enumerating births and deaths which we find applied in 
Greece and Rome from the most remote times. 

The practice of registering marriages and deaths appears 
for the first time at the beginning of the fourteenth century 
in certain regions of Burgundy. The reason for it was not 
to verify civil acts in themselves but to register the payment 
of sums due the curates on the occasion of their intervention 
in the accompHshment of these acts. A century later, in 
1406, in the Statutes of the Bishop of Nantes, Henri le 
Barbu, registrations of baptisms are mentioned for the first 
time. Their purpose was to furnish proof of the bonds of 
kinship existing between the persons involved and to render 
possible the sanction of the rules of Canonical Law which 
prohibited the marriage of relatives. 

It is not until 1539 that the action of royal power began to 
be felt in this domain and that the ordinance of Villers- 
Cotterets came to require of the curates the keeping of regis- 
ters of baptism. This measure was sanctioned and even 
extended to marriages in 1563, by the Council of Trente. 
And it was definitely consecrated in 1579, by the ordinance 
of Blois which for the first time set down in article 181 the 
rules applicable to the keeping of three registers, of baptisms, 
of marriages and of burials* 

So, beginning at this date, one possessed the essential 
elements of statistics of the actes de V etat-dvil. But the 

* See VioUet, Histoire du Droit Franiais, 2d Edit., pp. 454 ff. — and Planiol, 
Traiti EWnmiaire de Droit Civil, 4th Edit., Vol. I, pp. 168 ff. 


utilization of those statistics was destined to wait a long 
time. If from the sixteenth century some enlightened spirits 
understand and demonstrate the great usefulness of enu- 
merations of the population, their way of looking at it remains, 
in this regard, without influence on the conceptions and 
methods of public authorities. 

III. Statistics in France in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth 


The great investigations of Sully, at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, those of Colbert in the middle and 
toward the end of the centm-y, those of the Intendants, from 
which result the first official documents of general statistics 
in France, the creation, in the eighteenth century, of statis- 
tics of the actes de I'etat civil and of some specialized depart- 
ments of statistics, and finally the publicity given to the 
financial statistics of the monarchy, these were the cardinal 
points in the development of statistics in France between 
1595 and 1800, between Sully, minister of Henry IV, and 
Lucien Bonaparte, minister of Napoleon. 

But this development no longer finds its sole explanation 
in the needs of an administration with an incessantly in- 
creased field of activity, or even in the necessity of rescuing 
France from some violent and prolonged crisis of anarchy, 
as was the case in 1595, in 1661 and in 1798; part of the 
explanation, and there is a great new fact which it is well to 
underhne, is to be found in the movement of thought and 
in the doctrines which took shape toward the middle of the 
second half of the sixteenth century, under the double in- 
fluence of ideas surviving from Greco-Roman antiquity and 
of the desire to find a remedy for the abuses and misdeeds of 
the unhappy government of the Valois. These doctrines 
were expounded for the first time, with an extraordinary 
abundance of arguments, at once sohd and subtle, by Jean 
Bodin, in 1577, in his immortal work, Les Six Livres de la 
RSpublique (Bk. VI, Ch. 1), and we shall find them, forty 
years later, in the TraitS d'Economie Politique published by 


Montchrdtien in 1615. They can be summed up thus: the 
uses of the enumeration of subjects and of their revenues 
are infinite; they aflford the means of insuring the defense of 
the country and the peopUng of the colonies, of rendering 
more clear the juridic condition of individuals, of knowing 
"de quel estat chacun se mesh et quel mestier il exerce" (to 
what social rank each one belongs and what is his occupa- 
tion), of driving out vagabonds, loafers, robbers, ruflSans 
who live in the midst of respectable people, of providing for 
the just grievances of the poor against the rich, of laying and 
collecting equitably the "thousand kinds of imposts" which 
existed then and which "the ancients never knew," of 
abolishing the extortions of the officials, "who distribute 
and equalize taxes, subsidies and imposts," and finally of 
"putting an end to all rumors, appeasing all complaints, 
quieting all movements, suppressing all occasions for 

Although it is impossible to give a strict proof, it is in- 
finitely probable that all the great statistical works of the 
seventeenth century, the great investigations of Sully and of 
Colbert, the editing of the memoranda of the Intendants, were 
undertaken under the inspiration of Jean Bodin and Anthoyne 
de Montchretien. Sully could not ignore Bodin. Colbert 
had certainly read Montchretien. And when Fenelon taught 
the Duke of Burgundy the usefulness of enumerations, when 
he placed in the mouth of the mentor who instructed Bang 
Idomeneus a complete program of general statistics, it is 
the strong thought of Bodin and Montchretien that he 

Sully and Statistics 

Sully entered the Conseil du roi in 1596 and he became su- 
perintendent of finance in 1599. Administrative anarchy 

* See Jean Bodin, Les Six lAvres de la Ripvblique, Bk. VL Ch. 1. — De la Censure, 
pp. 878-888; de Montchretien, TraitS d'Eeonomie Politique, Bk. IV — De I'exemple 
et dea soins prineipaux du prince, pp. 345-353 of the edition Funk-Breutano. — De 
Montchretien has confined himself to summing up, by reproducing them often 
textually but without ever citing them, the results of Jean Bodin. 


and "graft" (dilapidations) in the departments of finance 
surpassed anything that we can imagine. The public 
revenues were in the hands of an army of officials whose 
ability and honesty alike left much to be desired. Expenses 
were much greater than receipts. A small part of the re- 
ceipts found their way to the Treasury. The public debt, 
so far as it could be calculated, exceeded 330 million livres, 
more than a billion francs in our money, truly a formidable 
figure for that time. 

To bring order out of this chaos, that was the mission 
entrusted to Sully, and these were the first measures by 
which he tried to fulfill it. He wanted to have a detailed 
tabulation and an accurate inventory of all the debts and 
all the revenues of the king, with a list of all those officers of 
the crown, civil, military, judiciary, of the police and of the 
departments of finance which it might be deemed necessary 
to keep. But. how arrive at this except by enumerations 
and figures? We know the program, the object, the aim of 
the enumerations which were made at this time.* We know 
even how they were carried out. Long and minute inves- 
tigations were made by Sully himself and by his secretaries, 
in the provinces as well as in Paris, in all the registers and 
documents of the treasurers, receivers and Chambres des 
Comptes. But what were the statistical results? We do 
not know. We have only the right to suppose that they 
did not give complete satisfaction to Sully. One thing that 
would tend to prove this is that in trying, in a memorandum 
of which his secretaries give us the complete text, to deter- 
mine by figures the situation to which he should have to 
apply his efforts, he takes care to remark that he confines 

* Numerous figures and a throng of details on this subject are given to us in the 
work which is usually known under the title Les Economies royales de SvUy, and of 
which the exact title is MMnoires des Sages el Royales Economies d'Estat de Henry le 
Grand. The eight volumes in -8° which these memoirs fill are part of the Col- 
lection des M&moires relative to the history of Prance from the accession of Henry 
rV to 1763. They are the work of obscure secretaries who mingle their stories and 
reflections with the notes, memoirs, reports and letters of Sully and Henry IV. 
They are hard to read but very instructive. 


himself to estimating (evcduer), "being impossible to compute 
{supputer) anything with accuracy."* 

However that may be, when these first researches were 
once completed. Sully, in a letter of April 1, 1607, demanded 
all the financial accounts from 1598 to 1607. After he had 
received them, taking his inspiration from the verifications 
which he could make by them, he decided, in agreement with 
the king, to reform the whole French system of public 
accounts.! The drawing up of new statistical statements, 
the number of which reached 25, was made obUgatory on the 
occasion of the estabUshment of the brevet gSniral of taxes 
(taille) for 1609. J Then to crown his work of restoring to 
health the finances of the king by methodically conducted 
investigations. Sully resolved to create a Cabinet d' Archives, 
intended to centraUze and preserve all the documents which 
might henceforth constitute a record of an administration 
that had become at once clearer and surer. Twice at least 
in the Economies Royales, Sully's secretaries mention the 
new institution. § They do it with such discretion that we 
may well believe that they did not understand the importance 
of it. Its creation, however, is, in the history of French 
statistics, one of the facts which deserve not to be forgot- 

But when Sully left his post in 1611, his method was 
abandoned. However vigorous and well conducted his 
work had been, it did not last long in circumstances hostile 
to the thought that inspired it; it perforce remained too 
superficial and fragile to survive him. Of his Cabinet d^ Ar- 
chives, notably, in a short time nothing more was heard. 
His successors, Richelieu and Mazarin, absorbed by the 

* See Economies Scales, Vol. Ill, pp. 218-224. 

t See Economies Royales, Vol. VII, pp. 353-357. 

X See Economies Royales, Vol. VIII, pp. 4-23. The brevet g&niral of taxes (faiUe) 
had to do only with the personal tax. It was the annual table in which the king 
fixed six months in advance the total amount of the iaiUe for all parts of the country 
where it was optional. There was none for the districts where the taiUe was com- 

§ See Vol. lU, p. 218, and Vol. VHI, pp. 73-86. 


task of realizing at any cost their vast political schemes, 
were much more bent on wresting the royal finances from 
the control of the States-General than on maintaining by 
regular enumerations the correctness and clarity dear to 
Henry IV. So that less than ten years after Henry's death, 
the extravagances had begun again in full swing, most of the 
financial officials being released from the regulations of 
Sully. Disorder was at its height under Mazarin, and dur- 
ing the first years of the reign of Louis XIV, from 1643 to 
1661. And when Colbert entered the Conseil des Finances, 
in 1661, when he became Controleur giniral in 1665, the 
situation which he found resembled, so closely that one can 
hardly tell the difference, that which Sully had found in 

Colbert and Statistics 

Like Sully, Colbert had recourse to statistics, first to 
clarify, then to reform, to measure the extent of the evil 
before applying a remedy. 

The enumerations of Colbert were made by maitres des 
requites sent into all the provinces and equipped with instruc- 
tions which were drawn up by Colbert in September, 1663. 
The inquiry was not confined to financial operations. It 
was to extend to all parts of the administration, to the clergy 
as well as to officials of every degree, to commerce, to manu- 
factures and even to the spirit and temper of the people of 
each province.! 

Two subjects especially attracted Colbert's attention, and 
on these he did not cease to ask of the intendants information 
which could not come without numerical tables, without 
statistics; one was the distribution of the personal tax {repar- 

* In 1620, 10 treasurers of the Savings Department (I'Epargne), more than 100 
receivers-general, more than 120 tax-farmers (fermiers) and as many collectors 
(traitants) who should have sent their accounts in every three months, had not 
rendered them for five years. In 1665, la Chamhre de Justice, instituted by Colbert 
against the traitants, found the responsible agents guilty, for a period of only six 
months, of 384 millions of falsified statements and forged accoimts. (See Victor 
Duruy, Chrmwhgie de I' Atlas Historique de la France, pp. 241 and 254.) 

t See Clement, Lettres, Instructions et Mimoires de Colbert, Vol. II, pp. 2 fif. 


tition des tailles) and the abuses which it entailed, the other 
was population, its number and movement. 

He wrote in 1680, apropos of the tailles, "As that is the 
matter in which the most abuses can be committed, it is 
also that to which the most attention has been given and is 
always given." These abuses resulted from the unjustified 
extension of exemptions enjoyed by certain categories of 
persons, the ecclesiastics, the nobles, the oflBcers of the king. 
From the month of March, 1666,* he had a warrant issued for 
the search of those who, to escape payment of the tailles, 
usurped titles of nobility. And he required that a statement 
of the exempt be sent to him regularly, as he wished to know 
the extent of the frauds committed by the accounting officers 
and discovered by the Chambre de Justice. On this subject 
one should read his great memoir of 1663 on financial affairs.f 

And as for the population, it is not only with the just ap- 
portionment of taxes that he is concerned. In 1663 mor- 
tahty had been great in the financial district of Tours. Col- 
bert, in a letter of April 6 addressed to the intendant, asks for 
"the number of inhabitants compared with the number three 
or four years ago." Also, in a letter of September 16, 1672, 
he questions the intendant of Alengon about the causes of the 
increase and the diminution of population.f But the most 
important measure in the matter of demographic statistics 
at this time, the honor of which belongs to Colbert, is the 
publication, for the City of Parip, beginning with the year 
1670, of the number of actes de VHat-ciml (baptisms, births* 
burials) which the curates of all the parishes of France were 
obliged to register after the ordinance of Villers-Cotterets 
(1539) and of Blois (1579). If the statistics of the actes de 
I'Stat civil show, in France of the eighteenth century, the re- 

* See Clement, loc. cit. Vol. I, Ch. VIII: les tailles; and Bailly, Hisioire Finaneitre 
de la France, Vol. I, pp. 428-129. — Colbert was planning to suppress the peisonal 
tax in the pays d'Slection (countries where it was optional? — Tr.) and to substitute 
the property tax based on a firmly established assessment, when death overtook 

t See Lettres, Instructions et MSmoires, Vol. II, pp. 17-67. 

i See Lettres, Instructions et Mimmres, Vol. II, p. 5 and pp. 251-252. 


markable development of which we shall speak presently, 
we owe it entirely to the happy initiative of Colbert.* 

We may say that in the hands of Colbert, as in the hands 
of Sully, statistics were the essential instrument with which 
these two great ministers, sixty years apart and in strikingly 
analogous circumstances, succeeded in reestablishing order 
in the public finances and prosperity in the national economy 
of France. 

But Colbert was more fortunate than Sully. He was in 
power longer and he succeeded in rooting his method deeply 
enough in the administrative methods of the monarchy to 
impose the following of that method on his successors. 
Whereas Sully's work disappeared with him, Colbert's sur- 
vived him. It was continued and to some extent devel- 
oped by the series of 30 contrdleurs ginSraux who were in 
oflBce from 1683 to 1789. From 1662 Colbert directed his 
efforts especially to building up solidly all that has to do with 
the Archives, the final organization of which, due to his far- 
seeing purpose, has been so valuable in preserving the sta- 
tistical documents of the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 

The Successors of Colbert and Statistics 

Pontchartrain, the immediate successor of Colbert, made 
great efforts to insure the preservation of municipal archives 
and those of the Intendances. The man who did perhaps 
more than anyone else, with the help of his faithful commis 
de cdntrole, Malet, both for the establishment of financial 
statistics and for the preservation of documents in the 
archives of the department of Finance, is Desmarets, who 
was contrdleur gSnSral in 1708. After him mention should 
be made of the contrdleurs giniraux, Marchault d'Arnouville, 

* We have, thanks to Colbert, the statistics of VStat-cimi for Paris from 1670. We 
lack the figures from 1684 to 1709. But we have them again continuously from 
1709 to our time; See on this subject, Levasseur, La Population Frangaise, Vol. I, 
pp. 248-249. 

t See for fuller details the AvanUPropos by BoislDe in Vol. I of the Correspondence 
des Contrdleurs Giniraux des Finances avec lea Iniendants des Provinces. 


de Silhouette and Bertin. The first allowed Forbonnais to 
draw from the archives of the Contrdle giniral all the numer- 
ous statistical elements of his Recherches et ConsidSrations sur 
les Finances de la France depuis I'annSe 1595 jusqu'd, I'annee 
1721. The second created "la bibliotheque des Finances." 
The third conceived the idea, new and original at that time, 
of having detailed notes gathered in all the courts of Europe 
concerning "les impositions et droits" existing in the different 
countries. From these notes were drawn up rnhnoires which 
constitute the oldest document of Legislation et de Statistique 
financieres comparees* which is to be found, not only in 
France, but in any country. 

The MSmoires of the Intendants 

"Les MSmoires des Intendants," says Levasseur,t con- 
stitute "the most considerable and the most complete docu- 
ment which we possess on the economic and administrative 
condition of ancient France and the only general view of 
French population before 1780 which has an official char- 
acter." There is no fault to find with this judgment of our 
learned historian of French demographic statistics. 

The Memoires des Intendants are 32 in number, one for 
each of the 32 provinces or g6neralites into which the France 
of Louis XIV was divided. Each one of them is a sort of 
monograph of a province. Their object is as general as 
possible. To convince oneself of this one has only to read 
the questionnaireX which served as a program and plan, and 
the title of the three folio volumes in which the due de Bou- 
lainvillier made a resume of them in 1711. § 

* The editing of these M&moires Concemant les Impositions et Droits en Europe, 
which were published in 1768, was entrusted to the intendant des Finances, Moreau 
de Beaumont. 

fSee La Population Frangaise, Vol. I, p. 202. 

i See the collection of MSmoires des Intendants, the publication of which was en- 
trusted to M. de Boislile, in 1876, by the Minister of Public Instruction. Vol. I, 
Mhnoire de la Oeneralite de Paris, pp. 2-3. 

§ This is the title of the work: Etat de la France dans lequel on vait tout ce qui 
regarde le gouvernement eccUsiastique, le militaire, la Justice, les Finances, le Com- 
merce, les Manufactures, le nombre des habitants et en gSniral, tout ce qui pent faire 


They were composed, in the course of the years 1698, 1699 
and 1700, on a questionnaire drawn up by the due de Beau- 
villier in consultation with Fenelon, and, doubtless, with 
Vauban. We know that the due de Beauvillier was tutor 
of the Duke of Burgundy and Fenelon was his instructor. 

Without ever having been sharply defined, the object 
of the inquiry directed to the intendants regarding the con- 
dition of their giniraliUs can easily be conjectured. It was 
in reality threefold. The first purpose was to instruct the 
dauphin in matters essential to the good government of 
France. The second purpose was to enlighten Louis XIV, 
who was beginning, after a reign of more than thirty years, 
to have misgivings as to the success of his government and 
the prosperity of his kingdom. And another object was to 
try to find, in an enumeration of the people, a fiscal instru- 
ment the lack of which had been sadly felt in 1694 and 1695, 
when Pontchartrain had wanted to try to establish a new 
poll-tax {impot de capitation).* 

The contents of the M6moires can be divided into two 
parts, the purely descriptive part and the statistical part. 
But the second is more important than the first. It is by 
figures, first of all, that Louis could be enlightened as to the 
fatal results of his incessant wars and of the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes, and that the dauphin could also be in- 
structed. This was especially true as regards population. 
Population, then, was one of the dominant preoccupations 
of the authors of the questionnaire addressed to the intendants 
toward the end of 1697. This, in effect, is what we find in 
the questionnaire :'\ "Number of towns; number of men, 
about, in each; number of villages and hamlets; total of 

eonnaitre d fond cette monarchie, — Extrait des memoires dressSs par les intendants du 
royaume par ordre du roi Louis XIV h la soUidtation de Mgr. le due de Bourgoyne. 

* Very interesting details relating to the enumerations which were attempted on 
the occasion of this tax can be found in the excellent study of the Capitation dans 
des pays de taiUe personelle by Georges Larde (Paris, 1906), see pp. 86-45 and 

t We possess two manuscript copies of the text of this questionnaire. See de 
Boislile, Mimoire de la GenSralitS de Paris, p. 3, No. 1. 


parishes and of souls in each. Consult the old registers to 
see if the people were more numerous formerly than today; 
causes of the decrease; if there were Huguenots and how 
many of them have gone away." And this is how Fenelon 
expressed himself in his Directions pour la conscience d'un 
roi:* "It is not enough to know the past; it is necessary to 
know the present. Do you know the number of men that 
compose your nation: how many men, how many women, 
how many laborers, how many artisans, how many mechan- 
ics (praticiens), how many tradesmen, how many priests 
and monks, how many nobles and soldiers? What would 
one say of a shepherd who did not know the number of his 
flock? It is as easy for a king to know the number of his 
people. He has only to wish to know." 

How was this capital document of French statistics of 
the seventeenth century prepared? 

The data which we find there were brought together by 
the cooperation of all the departments of administration 
which then existed, the supreme head of which, in each prov- 
ince, was the intendant. 

The intendant was in his province, in all matters of public 
policy, justice and finance, the word policy (police) being 
taken in its broadest sense, the holder of all authority. He 
was, as they used to call him, "I'homme du roi."t He was 
also, it is necessary to add, the man of the contrSleur geniral 
des Finances, who was, next to the king, the real ruler of 
France. It was to him alone that the contr61eur applied to 
get all the information and all the figures that he needed. 
And in turn the intendant applied to the many agents under 
his orders, to no one of whom, moreover, was especially 
assigned the task of enumeration. So that those who have 
most thoroughly studied the administrative organization 
of the French monarchy have never failed to pay their 

* See Article 1, § 9. 

t On the origin and on the great rdle played by the intendants of the prov- 
inces or gSrUraliUs see the substantial pages devoted to them by Brissaud. 
Histoire G&nirale du Droit Frangais Public et Privi, Vol. I, pp. 844-850. 


respects to the service which the intendants rendered to the 
science of statistics. "The principal sources for statistical 
studies of France," writes M. Ardascheff,* "before the Revo- 
lution, are to be sought in the archives of the intendants de 
'province. The intendants have rendered considerable serv- 
ice in the work of statistics." That is quite true. But the 
learned Russian professor goes so far as to declare "that 
they were, in France, the real founders of this science": 
in which he is mistaken, for he simply forgets Bodin and de 
Montchretien, Sully and Colbert, not to speak of F6nelon 
and Vauban.f By the nature and universality of his func- 
tions, the intendant lived in the midst of numbers. Head of 
the departments of taxation and finance, first in authority 
over the raising and maintenance of the military forces, 
over public works, agriculture, industry and commerce, over 
religious ceremonies and public attendance, he could not 
accomplish a single act without making statistics, gathering 
them together and using them as data. It is through him 
that in the eighteenth century, statistics of population, 
economic statistics and financial statistics came together. 

Among the collaborators of the intendant in the field of 
statistics one of the administrative agents of the time de- 
serves special mention, we mean the chief of the parish, the 
curate.l The cure holds a great place in the history of 
statistics under the ancient regime. The ordinance of Vil- 
lers-Cotterets had made him a veritable officer of the civil 
state. In this capacity he had to draw up a summary of 
marriages, births and deaths. It was moreover his duty to 
publish and, as it were, promidgate the acts of the authorities 
by reading them from the pulpit. Finally, he was often 
entrusted with the carrying out, in his parish, of the detailed 

* See Les Intendants de Province sous Louis XVI, by Paul Ardascheflf, Professor of 
the University of Kiev, tr. by Jousserandot, 1909, pp. 383-385. 

t See, in particular, on the part played by Vauban, in the preparation of the 
Tn&moire de I'Intendant de la g&niralitS de Paris, de Boislile, Introduction au Mimoire 
de la GenSralitS de Paris, pp. IV and V. 

J On the administrative functions of the cur^s see Brissaud, Histoire Q6nkale du 
Droit Fransais Public et Privi, Vol. I, pp. 861 flE. 


enumerations necessitated by the imposing of certain taxes. 
Thus, for example, by two circulars of October 31 and No- 
vember 26, 1694, relative to "I'etahlissement proposS d'une 
capitation," the controleur giniral Pontchartrain requested 
the intendants to ask the cures for " le dHail des paroisses de 
leur generaliU." And the intendant of Paris complied with 
this request by addressing to the curSs of his gSnSralite a 
scheme of enumeration, the framework of which included no 
less than 16 columns corresponding to 16 differ ent numerical 
data bearing upon persons, taxes and incomes.* No doubt 
the moral authority of the curi was counted on to insure the 
accuracy of the enumeration.f 

The remaining consideration is, what is the value of the 
figures which we find in the Mimoires of 1698? 

Their quality varies widely. It is seldom good and often 
bad. They are most often the result of more or less sound 
estimates rather than of exact proofs. And that is due to 
causes which persist to the end of the eighteenth century — 
to the habitual mediocrity of the subordinate oflScers of 
French administration in this period, and to the particular 
difficulties then presented by most of the enumerations, in 
consequence of the insufficient means of communication, 
especially in winter, and also because of the resistance, fre- 
quent and difficult to overcome, which the people made to 
all the investigations of authorized officials. 

The figures are defective not only in point of quality, but 
in uniformity. Uniformity, it would seem, ought to have 
been insured by the unity of the program outlined by the 
due de Beauvillier. But there was none. The program was 
far from being understood and carried out in the same way 
by all the intendants. Some give the number of inhabi- 
tants; others give only the number of households. Among 
the first, some give the number of all the inhabitants! 

* See de Boislile, M&moire de la GenSralitS de Paris, pp. 5S2-6S3. 

t This authority was not always efficacious. We are told that sometimes when 
the cui£ wished to read at the parochial mass (au prone) the instructions addressed 
to him by the intendant, most of the parishioners left the church. See de Boislile, 
Nouvelle iditum des m&moires de Saint-Simon, Vol. IL P- 461. 


while others exclude certain classes of peoples. Among the 
second, some count all the households, others count only 
the taxable households, and some take the figures from the 
lists of the Capitation of 1695. And this doubtless explains 
the severity with which the Mimoires were judged, even by 
contemporaries, notably by the Count de Boulainvilliers.* 
This severity is perhaps "excessive" as Levasseurf thinks, 
but it is certainly merited in our opinion, at least in great 

The Mhnoires, according to the custom of the times in the 
matter of official documents, remained in manuscript and 
secret. However, under the increasing pressure of opinion, 
the mystery which was supposed to surround them was often 
penetrated. Numerous copies were made. Of the mSmoire 
of the gSniralitS of Paris, M. de Boislile has counted 27 manu- 
scripts and he thinks there were more. How many readers 
does that figure indicate? It is impossible to say. But 
the number was certainly very high. Official statistics then 
had all the attraction of forbidden fruit. And this explains, 
no doubt, the fascination which statistics had for certain 
spirits, for example. Abbe de Dangeau, whom Boislile, not 
without some exaggeration, has characterized as the "pre- 

* Speaking of the Mimoire of the ggn£ralit£ of Paris, Boulainvilliers says: "Its 
tedious prolixity, its useless and continual digressions would have disgusted me for- 
ever with reading such things, if I had not reflected that from this chaos and others 
like it it was not impossible to extract some knowledge which, digested in another 
way, might be incomparably useful not only to me and my associates but to the 
public." He reproaches the intendant of Bouen, "for not having entered into the 
details of families, of lands, of taxes, for having neglected to make known various 
imposts (impositions diverses), for having confined himself to talking about the 
poverty of the people." "The pitiful author of this m&moire," he says, of the 
mSmoire of Poitou, " cannot be acquitted of many serious faults." And as for the 
mSmoire of Bordeaux, "that," he says, "is really one of the most imperfect that 
have been drawn up in the provinces." 

The Abb6 de Saint-Pierre, more moderate and just than Boulainvilliers, confined 
himself to seeking for the means " of having better m4moires des intendances than 
those which were sent to the court by the intendants in 1698 and 1699." — See 
MSmoire sur le Gouvernement InterieuT de I'Etat, Oeuvres completes de 1733, Vol. VII, 
p. 259. 

t See La Population Frangaise, Vol. I, p. 202. 


curseur de la Statistique,"* but who was at least the most 
remarkable amateur of his time, if one judges by the 224 
manuscripts of his in our Biblioth^que Nationale.^ And the 
publicity given to the figures by the manuscripts which 
were passed from hand to hand was nothing to what they 
received, in 1707, 1709, and 1727, from certain books, such 
as La Dime Royale (The Royal Tithes) of Vauban, Le dinom- 
brement de la France par geniralitis, Elections, paroisses, et 
feux by Saugrain, I'Etat de la France by Count de Boulain- 
villiers, in spite of the severe condemnations pronounced 
against some of them and in spite of the necessity that the 
authors were under of having them printed secretly or 

Demographic Statistics 

As in oiu: time, but for different reasons, the question 
of population was, during the eighteenth century, one of 
the dominant objects of interest of the public authorities 
and of the enlightened spirits which at that time shaped 

Much is written today about the causes of the decline of 
the birth rate and the means of remedying it. Even more 
perhaps was written in the eighteenth century on the ques- 
tion of determining what was the figure for the population of 
France. Some put it high, others put it low; some thought 
it to be increasing, others thought it to be diminishing. § 

The public authorities were interested in the population, 
its status and movement, with the sole purpose of obtaining 
larger and larger military and fiscal resources. The writers 
sought in the increase or decline of the number of inhabitants 
the touchstone of the prosperity of France, and consequently, 

* See de Boislile, La Gfydraliti de Paris, Introd., p. LVII. 

t See Biblioihkgue Naiionah (Manuscrits franQais, Vols. 22593-22817). 

i Boulainvilliers was printed in London and Vauban was printed secretly at 

§ Among them: Votius attributed to France 15,000,000 inhabitants, the Marquis 
de Mirabeau in I' Ami des Homines or Trail6 de la Population put the figure at 
18,000,000, and Montesquieu reduced it to 14,000,000, at the same time declaring 
that France could support 50,000,000. — See Oeuwes inedits. Vol. I, p. 180. 


that of the virtues and vices of the royal administration and 
of the absolute monarchy itself, which many, as early as the 
middle of the eighteenth century, had already ceased to re- 
gard as eternal and irrefragable. 

Both parties needed statistics to satisfy their legitimate 
curiosity. How were they to be arrived at? 

Not, any more than for the preceding centuries, by general 
enumerations applied to the entire population counted head 
by head. Such enumerations were not made until the 
nineteenth century. Until the end, the administration of 
the ancient regime, which concealed so much weakness 
under the appearance of strength lent to it by the absolute 
power of the king, felt itself powerless to undertake them. 
Of the 32 intendants, authors of the MSmoires, twelve con- 
fined themselves to counting the popidation by a census of 
households, fifteen borrowed their figures from the tax 
registers and from the Capitation of 1695, four or five, notably 
those of Paris and Languedoc, dared to try direct enumera- 
tion, head by head. And the most remarkable of the in- 
tendants of the eighteenth century, de la Michodi^re, who 
hides under the name of Messance, and de Montyon, who 
hides under the name of Moheau, men who left justly cele- 
brated writings on the subject of population,* are unani- 

* The title of Messance 's book is Recherches sur la population dea gMraliUs 
d'Auvergne, de Lyon, de Rouen, et de guelques provinces el villes du royaume avec des 
Tiflexions sur la valeur du hied tant en France qu'en Angleterre de 167i ct 176i. It is 
dated 1766 and was written at the beginning of 1765. The name of Messance is 
followed by the title: receveur des taiUes. Barou Grimm, one of the best informed 
men of his time, presents Messance to us as the secretary and proxy (jwlte-nom) 
of the intendant Michodifere. "This opinion is not supported by proofs," says 
Levasseur {La Population Franqaise, Vol. I, p. 215). True, but it is so likely that 
one caimot hesitate to admit it. 

The book signed "Moheau" has a more general scope than that of Messance; it 
is entitled: Recherches et considerations sur la population de la France; it is dated 
1778, but to judge from the date of the epistle to the king, it was written in 1774. 
We have set forth elsewhere the various reasons which warrant us in ascribing the 
work to M. de Montyon (La SocOU de Statistique de Paris, p. XXIII, and, to the 
same effect, M. Ardaschefl, Les Intendants de Province sous Louis XVI, p. 178). 
And we cannot help clinging to our opinion in spite of serious objections which have 
been raised by our learned colleague M. Ren6 Gounard in the Notice which he put 
at the beginning of the new edition (Paris, 1912) of the book signed "Moheau." 


mous in regarding direct enumeration as an enterprise so 
diflScult and expensive that it seemed to them unreasonable 
to try it. Necker expressed the same thought in 1784,* 
and also the Chevalier des Pommelles, in his Tableau de la 
Population de toutes les Provinces de France^ published in 
1789. "There does not exist and there never has existed 
any general enumeration of the kingdom," says the Chevalier 
des Pommelles (p, 45), summing up very well what de la 
Mochodiere, de Montyon and Necker had said before him. 
"An enumeration of individuals which, at first glance, seems 
such an easy thing, not only would be expensive, but, when 
one considers it, presents so many difl&culties in carrying it 
out that one must doubt even the possibility, above all the 
carrying out of such an operation. The people have so 
many prejudices against such an enumeration that in 
1786 the provincial Assembly of Auch was obliged to 
stop it in the province on account of the disturbance it 
caused. It will take a long time to inspire enough confi- 
dence in the people to cure them of their prejudices in this 

Such was the opinion of men in the best position to know 
the machinery of French administration in the eighteenth 
century and to appreciate the value of the means at its 
disposal to make general enumerations.J Necker and des 
Pommelles were no more influenced than the intendants 
by the sharp remark of Saint-Simon who speaks, with his 
acrimonious livehness, "of those impious enumerations 
which have always outraged the Creator and drawn the 
weight of His hand on those who have had them made and 

* See De I' Administration des Finances de la France, Vol. 1, pp. 202-221. 

t The book by the Chevalier des Pommelles, lieutenant-colonel of the fifth regi- 
ment, d'Mat-major (Paris, 1784) is twofold. It includes, 1st, a Mknoire sur ha 
Milices, 2d, a Tableau de la poj/ulation de toutes les provinces de France et de la pro- 
portion sous tous les rapports des naissances, des marts and des mariages, depuis dix ans, 
d^apris les registers de chaque g&rUralM. 

% Is it true, as we are told, apropos of the M&moire de la g&n6ralitS de Paris, pub- 
lished by Boislile, that the military was ordered to make a complete enumeration of 
the g^^ralite, house by house, with the names of the inhabitants, men, women and 
children? We doubt it. 


almost always earned startling punishments."* They simply 
judged as men accustomed to live in contact with reality 
and practical necessity. 

If F^nelon could say that it was as easy for a king to know 
the number of his subjects as for a shepherd to know the 
number of his flock, if Vauban could propose a system by 
which could be completed "without confusion and with ease, 
in twice tWenty-four hours, all the enumerations which it 
might please the king to make of his people"! it was because 
these great and generous spirits, inspired above all by their 
love of public welfare, were not afraid to demand in their 
day something that could not be realized until a century 

But if French administration in the eighteenth century did 
not dare approach a poll enumeration of the population of 
the entire kingdom, it frequently made one limited either 
to several selected localities or to a definite category of 
persons. By combining the results thus obtained with those 
of certain other enumerations, it succeeded in getting the 
figure for the total population of France with that degree of 
accuracy which satisfied de Montyon when he wrote: "The 
Statesman who wishes to know the strength of the population 
of a country needs only the approximate figure,"J and he 
arrives at it, he adds, by "computing from the facts which 
have a constant necessary relation with the population." 

The particular facts and materials available for use in 
calculating the figure for the total population were numerous 
enough. De Montyon cites eight of them, births, marriages, 
deaths, the consumption of certain products {consommations), 
parishes, houses, § households, the quotas of capitation. One 

* See the new edition of the M&moires by de Boislile, Vol. XX, pp. 167 and 574. 

t La Dime Royale {petite edit. Gaillaumin), pp. 177-178. 

X Recherches et considerations svr la 'population, (edit. 1778), p. 23. 

§ One may find an attempt to calculate the population of Fans, on the basis of 
the figures for the annual consumption of coin and the number of houses, in I'Easai 
sur les Monnaies by Dupre de Saint-Maur, master of accounts, economist, academi- 
cian, and father of the intendant de Guienne who was one of the great intendants of 
the eighteenth century. See p. 59 ff. 


may add the Easter communions. But from the middle 
of the eighteenth century it was commonly agreed to adopt 
"the least uncertain index," as Necker calls it, "that which 
is supplied by the number of births." "Since births," 
says de Montyon, "are the product of population, and since 
in a certain period, they renew the mass of it, then they have 
such a necessary relation to it that they can be taken as the 
measure of it." 

How was this measure determined? How in the eight- 
eenth century was the population of France counted? By a 
method which the intendants de la Michodiere (Messance) 
and de Montyon (Moheau), and Necker and des Pommelles 
have described for us with great precision. 

Suppose an intendant wished to know the figure for the 
population of his g^niraliU. He began by selecting a certain 
number of parishes, taking care to group districts of different 
character, "so that different conditions may be combined 
and balance each other (forment compensation),"* and in 
those districts made a poll enumeration. In each of the 
parishes thus enumeratedf the total number of inhabitants 
was compared with the mean number of births for the six 
preceding years. The comparison was made by dividing 
the first by the second. The resulting quotient was very 
variable, no doubt according to locality, because it swung 
between the extreme limits of 21 and 32 inhabitants to one 
birth, but it was reduced to an average figure carefully cal- 
culated. This average figure was applied to every gSnSralitS. 
Suppose it was 25 inhabitants to a birth; J they multiplied 
by 25 the mean annual number of births in every gSnSralitS 

* See de Montyon (Moheau), Recherches et considSraiions, pp. 32-46. 

t The number of parishes in which a poll enumeration was made was fixed arbi- 
trarily by the intendant. The glnlraliUpi Rouen comprised 1,885 parishes in 1762, 
a year when they were trying to determine its total population. A poll enumeration 
was made in 105 parishes. In 1757, in the Election of Saint-Flour (Province of Au- 
vergne), the number of parishes polled {tete par tete) was 17 out of 148. 

i That was the expression at that time of what we now call the birth rate (nataliii) 
and which we express by saying that there are so many births to 100,000 or 10,000 
inhabitants. Twenty-five inhabitants to one birth gave a birth rate of 40 to 1000 


and fancied that they had the figure for its total popu- 

From the population of a giniraliti to that of France was 
only a step. They took it in two ways. The simplest con- 
sisted in adding the figures obtained in all the gineralitis. 
However, that is not the method that was usually followed. 
They preferred to calculate and adopt for the whole of France 
a mean ratio of the number of births to the number of in- 
habitants, and then multiply the total number of births in 
France by the figure expressing this ratio. It is thus that 
de Montyon,* multiplying 928,918 births, the average 
figure for the five years, 1769 to 1773, by 25^, attributed to 
France "about 23,500,000 or 24,000,000 inhabitants" in 
1774, and that Necker.f multiplying 963,207 births, the 
average figure for the five years, 1776 to 1780, by 24f , ar- 
rived, for the year 1781, at the figure of 24,802,500 individuals. 
The Chevalier des Pommelles, by analogous calculations, 
arrives at a slightly higher figure. "I have gone over the 
whole kingdom," he says; "I have had the registers of all 
the intendances drawn oflf; I have made or verified all the 
calculations myself; after that," he adds, not without a 
certain naive pretentiousness, "I believe I can be sure that, 
in the actual state of things, the estimate of 25,065,883 is 
the most certain that can be made." J 

When it was decided, in the eighteenth century, to make a 
poll count of the inhabitants of a certain number § of parishes, 
of very different types and of very unequal importance, the 
opportunity was usually taken advantage of to make rather 
detailed enumerations. To th^se enumerations we owe most 
interesting numerical data on the composition of the French 
population in the eighteenth century, both from the point 

* See de Montyon (Moheau), loc. eit. pp. 64-70. 

t See Necker, loc. eit. Vol. I, p. 207 and pp. 222-320, where Necker gives the 
figures for the population, imposts, area of each gMraliU, of Corsica and the col- 

J See des Pommelles, loc. dt. p. 47. 

§ This number did not reach quite 6 per cent, of the total number of parishes in 
the gfnh'aliU of Rouen, but it exceeded 13 per cent, in the gMraliU of Auvergne. 


of view of sex and family relations {Hat-dvil) and from the 
point of view of age, social categories and professions,* 
which we find either in the manuscript collections of our 
Archives and our Bibliothtque Nationale, or in the works of 
contemporaries, Vauban and Saugrain, the Abbe d'Expilly, 
of the intendants de la Michodiere and de Montyon, of the 
contrdleur genSral Necker, of the Chevalier des Pommelles, 
and of the last chief of the Bureau de la balance du commerce, 
under the monarchy, Arnould, or, finally, in the first docu- 
ments published in 1835 and in 1837 by the Bureau de la 
Statistique generale de la France. 

The eighteenth century, it is true, based the enumeration 
of the total population on the enumeration of the acts of 
marriage, birth and death. So it is not surprising that it 
tried to strengthen the guaranties of accuracy of the first 
and to improve constantly the conditions of the second. 

The sixteenth century had seen the beginning of com- 
pulsory registration of the actes de Vetat-dvil (birth, death, 
etc.). The seventeenth century had completed the ordi- 
nances of 1539 and 1579 by imposing, in the ordinance of 
1667 on procedure, the keeping of these registers in dupli- 
cate. In spite of that the statistical use of them was 
quite exceptional. That demanded special measures like 
that which Colbert took for examining the registers of the 
parishes of Paris from 1670 on. Statistical utilization be- 
came possible beginning with the declaration of April 9, 
1736, and the circular of Terray, August 14, 1772. 

The declaration of 1736 prescribed: 1st, that curates, 
vicars, parish priests (desservants) , the superiors of the 
chapters of religious orders or the administrators of the 

*We are informed, notably, of the number of males and females (mdles and 
femelles were the expressions used then), of the number of individuals below and 
above 14 years, of the number of bachelors, married men and widowers, of the 
number of nobles, ecclesiastics, officials, domestics, beggars. These five categories 
of persons were the objects of very minute researches and studies. See on this sub- 
ject the details, fairly numerous but sometimes open to suspicion, given by Moreau 
de Jonnfis, Etat Economique el Social de la France de 1589 & 1715, pp. Sff-ST, 100, 
267-278. On the niunber of fiscal agents and employees, see Necker, loc. eit. Vol. I, 
pp. 193, 201. 


hospices, deposit every year at the office of the baihwick* 
the dupUcate of their registers of baptisms, marriages and 
burials; 2d, that the poUce officers keep registers of the 
deaths of persons to whom ecclesiastical burial should be 

The circular addressed by the Abb6 Terray to the in- 
tendants in his capacity as contrdleur giniral, is of too great 
importance for us not to cite the text itself, at least in part. 
"Monsieur I'intendant, it is very important for the adminis- 
tration to know exactly the state of the population of the 
kingdom, and this knowledge will be no less useful to each 
one of MM. les intendants des provinces. I beg you, conse- 
quently, to have made each year an exact resum6 of the 
population of your gSnSraliU conforming to the model list 
which you will find herewith. It is not an enumeration by 
persons, dwellings (mSnages) or households that I ask of you, 
that enumeration, although easy, f would demand too much 
time and trouble to be renewed each year; what I ask is that 
you have sent to you each year by the clerks of the royal 
jurisdictions a resume of births, marriages, deaths in all 
parishes, chapters, regular or secular order, hospices or other 
churches which may be authorized to celebrate marriages, 
administer baptisms or make interments, to which you will 
cause to be added the persons of both sexes who shall have 
entered religious orders and who shall have died in the 
monasteries, convents and nunneries which keep records 
of new members and deaths. The lists which I ask of you 
ought to contain eight columns. . . . 

"You will finish this list by a recapitxilation for each dis- 
trict (Slecition) and you will add a general recapitulation for 
your department.^ ... I beg you to apply yourself 
from this time on (before 1772) to this work and to begin it 
with the years 1770 and 1771, which will be distinguished 

* The bailiwick (bailliage) was a judiciary district. There were 829 of them in 
the eighteenth century. 

t It will be noted that the Abb6 Terray speaks almost as Vauban does about the 
ease of general enumerations. 

I The word dipartement was already used as a synonym of glniraliii. 


by separate lists. . . . The more utility the work pre- 
sents, the more zeal and accuracy I hope you will bring to it- 
It is moreover easy to do. . . . It is necessary to see 
to it that the clerks distinguish carefuUy, under the heads of 
births and deaths, the numbers of both sexes. This list> 
drawn up for the whole kingdom, will make it possible to 
know in a few years whether there are born or die more males 
than females and in what proportion. ... I beg you 
kindly to take all necessary measures to prevent, if possible, 
any error from slipping into this work, which I earnestly 
commend to your usual zeal for all that concerns the good of 
the service." 

It is not surprising to learn that the noble appeals ad- 
dressed by Terray to the zeal of his collaborators were not 
always heeded and that he found himself obliged to repeat 
them several times in the course of the year 1773. But 
that does not at all detract from the great merit of the 
author of the circular of 1772. Nor is his merit any more 
diminished by the fact that the registers ordered by Terray 
were kept by the Catholic clergy, that they could serve at 
that time only for Catholics, and that it was only beginning 
with 1787 that a lay Mai-civil was granted to protestants. 

So we owe to Terray the organization of the permanent 
and regular enumeration of the actes de VEtat-Civil in France. 
And this organization, which has maintained its original 
lines up to the beginning of the twentieth century, it is. 
important to note, is characterized essentially by the ab- 
sence of administrative utility. The regular statistics of 
Vetat-civil date, in France, from 1772, and not as has been 
said incorrectly "from the creation of the first service de 
Statistique gSnSrale, that is to say from the last year of the 
eighteenth century."* Statisticians ought to have it in 
their hearts to do justice to Terray in this regard,! the more 

*See Statiiiigue Internationale du Mouvement de la Population d'apris lea Regiglers 
de VEtat-CivU, published by the Direction de la Statistique ghUrale de la France, 1907, 

p. L 

tLevasseur, whose justice equalled his knowledge, had the honor to be the first to. 
do justice to Terray (See La Population Franfaise, Vol. I, p. 250), quoting the com- 


SO because the historians, often too severe on him, have for 
the most part remembered him only as an unscrupulous 
administrator, offering to the monarchy, to reestablish its 
damaged finances, expedients of questionable morality.* 

The First Tables of Mortality 

To the great progress made by the statistics of the actes 
de I'etat civil it is proper to append the establishment of the 
first tables of mortality, those tables which Cournot calls 
"the most diflficult work and, as it were, the masterpiece of 
statistics. " 

The first was established, at the request of the contrdleur 
gSnSral de BouUongne, by Deparcieux and published in 1746 
in his Essai sur les probabilitSs de la durie de la vie humaine, 
which was approved by the AeadSmie des Sciences after a 
favorable report by NicoUe and Buffon. The materials for 
it were furnished by 9,320 deaths which took place in two 
tontines created in 1689 and 1696: the last deaths occurred 
in 1742. 

The second was established by Dupr6 de Saint-Maur with 
the help of observations drawn from the registers of deaths 
prior to 1749 in twelve parishes in the environs of Paris and 
three parishes in Paris (Saint-Andr6, Saint Hippolyte and 
Saint-Nicolas). It was published by Buffon in 1767, inhis ittide 
sur Vhomme et spScialement sur les prpbabilitSs de la durie de 
la vie.\ "It is the only one, " says Buffon, after having cited 
some others published in England and Holland, "on which 
one can establish the probabilities of the life of men in gen- 
eral with some certainty," thanks to the bringing together 
in the same calculation of city parishes and country par- 

plete text of the circular of 1772. We allow ourselves to rebuke him a little for 
one thing. The circular of 1772 appears to him "important for the history of 
population in France"; one ought rather to say important for the history of statis- 

*Note, however, the impartiality of the judgment passed by M. Marcel Marion on 
the financial work of Terray. (See Histoire finamiiiTe de la France depuia 1716, 
Vol. I, pp. 248-279.) 

fSee Oeuvres Completes, idit. de la Soeitli bibliophile. Vol. IV, pp. 115-126. 


A third is to be found in Monty on (Moheau).* The 
author has compiled it from the deaths in the three parishes 
of Paris and the twelve parishes in the country which had 
been used by Dupr6 de Saint-Maur, to which he has added 
the deaths in eight parishes of the gSnSralitS of Rouen, eight 
in the isle of Re and eleven in different provinces, in all 
50,567 deaths. But he takes care to announce that "his 
object is less to establish the duration of life than the times 
and periods that are most mortal. " This explains, without 
doubt, why his table has not been used by those who need to 
know the probable duration of human life. 

There is, finally, a fourth table of mortality, that of Duvill- 
ard, former attache of the Controle gSnSral under Turgot, 
and of the ministry of the interior, in 1805, when he had 
charge of the statistics of population. The author does not 
say with enough precision what materials he used. All we 
know is that his table of mortality! was composed in 1798 
and that it was compiled from 101,542 deaths drawn from 
the registers prior to the Revolution. 

After the population it is the economic and financial facts 
which are the object, in the period which we are studying, 
of enumerations continuously extended and improved. 

Economic Statistics 

One has difficulty in getting an idea of the prodigious 
extension in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of 
economic statistics. It is, indeed, the period in which, after 
having fully triumphed in the political field and won absolute 
power there, the French monarchy gives free rein to its 
spirit of state initiative {esprit Hatiste), when it meddles, 
most often for fiscal reasons but also under the most varied 
pretexts, in the domain of industry, agriculture and com- 

*Recherches et amMkations (6dit. 1778), pp. 155-228. 

fit was published in 1806, in a memoire presented to the AcaMmie des Sciences 
in 1798 and entitled: Analyse et tableaux de V influence de la petite v&role sur la mor- 
tality a chaque dge et de ceUe qu'un prSseroatif tel que la vaccine peut avoir sur la 
population et la longimlS, 


merce. It is the period when nobody in France may work, 
choose and practise any profession whatsoever without the 
permit of the king.* It is the time when the king, feeling 
some scruples on the subject of applying the tithes (dixieme) 
of 1710 to the benefit of the nobles and the clergy, consulted 
the Sorbonne and received, as Saint-Simon says, the follow- 
ing response: "that all the wealth of the French was the 
personal property of the king, and that when he took it he 
took only what belonged to him." Now, we know that 
excess of regulation by public authority imphes at once as a 
condition and a consequence an enforced multiphcation of 

What might lead us to believe that in the seventeenth 
century and the eighteenth, statistics were less highly devel- 
oped than in reality they were later, is that they were still 
badly organized, that the instruments specially devoted to it 
were defective and that the preservation of documents was 
imperfectly assured. But the moment approaches when we 
are to see appear a certain specialization in the departments 
of service that have charge of preparing them. And it is 
precisely in the domain of economic statistics that we are 
about to observe this phenomenon. 

From the middle of the sixteenth century the registers of 
customs (jdouane) have allowed us to know approximately 
the amount of our imports. We have the proof of it in a 
manuscript the date of which lies between 1551 and 1556t 
and which gives us the value of the different imports which 
France received from Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, 
Germany, England. 

We know that the registers of the customs were utilized 
by Sully to evaluate the annual product of an export tax 
(droit de sortie) of 15 sous (sols) per bale of merchandise 
exported, which an edict of Henry IV had established in 

*See on the statistics of corporations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
E. Martin Saint-Leon, Histoire des Corporations de MMiers, pp. 446 and 656. 

t See on this manuscript Levasseur, Histoire des Classes Ouvrieres avant 1789, id 
edit.. Vol. II, pp. 49 and 50. 


1603.* Colbert often had recourse to it in order to get in- 
formation on the movement of importations. 

But it is his successor Pontchartrain, aided by d'Aguesseau 
who was especially in charge of the direction of Commerce, 
who first asked, in 1693,t that detailed tables of importation 
and exportation be drawn up. And the definitive confirma- 
tion of this measure was the creation, by an order of the 
Conseil du roi on April 18, 1713, of a Bureau appointed to 
collect the elements necessary to "la balance du commerce," 
directed at first by de Grandval, formerly fermier gSnSral, 
and placed until 1785 under the authority of the fermiers 
gSnSraux.X That is the first branch of French public service 
in which one can see a department especially devoted to 
statistics. It seems to have functioned satisfactorily. To it 
we owe the possession, year by year since 1716, of the statis- 
tics of the foreign trade of France. § To these detailed annual 
tables were added, in 1756, general r6sum6s. Necker, to 
whom the creation of this Bureau has been incorrectly at- 
tributed, II did nothing more than reorganize it in 1781, giving 
it oflScially the name, "Bureau de la balance du Commerce." 
We find an allusion to this reorganization in V Administration 
des finances de la France (Vol. II, p. 127). We find there also 
very instructive observations on the "usual inaccuracy of the 
balances de Commerce. " According to Necker this inaccuracy 
had two causes : in the first place, the impossibility of record- 

* See Amould, De la balance du Commerce et des relations commerdales extSrieures 
de la France dans Unites les ■parties du globe avec la fxdeur de ses importations et exporta- 
tions progressives depuis 1716jusqu'en 1788, Vol. II, p. 118; and de Natalis Rondot, 
Dictionnaire du Commerce — Guillaumin, 1859, under the words: Commission des 
fxdeurs en douane. 

t It is curious to note that in this same year, 1693, began the annual communica- 
tion of tables of the customs to the English Parliament. 

t See Levasseur, Bistmre du Commerce de la France, Vol. I, p. 509, and Pallain, 
Les Dovxmes Franfaises, new edit. 1913, Vol. II, pp. 313 £E. 

§ It was in 1716 that the publication of the annual resumes was decided on. An 
order of the Conseil, February 29, 1716, appropriated for this work the sum of 
10,000 livres. The declaration of the quantities was furnished by the traders. 
The valuations were given by the Chambres de Commerce. 

II Statistique GSnSrale de la France, Historique et travaux de la fin du XVIIIirtle 
tiide A la fin du XlXime, p. 6. 


ing on the registers of the fiscal agents "the secret operations 
carried on in contraband which are sometimes so extended 
that they are enough to change entirely the first ideas that 
one might have conceived of the credit or debit of the trade of 
a nation" (p. 117) ; in the second place, the extreme imperfec- 
tion of valuing in money, "as it is ordinarily done, " the ex- 
ports and imports of a kingdom (p. 119).* 

As it was organized by Necker, the Bureau de la balance 
du Commerce lasted until 1792. It was then replaced {In- 
structions of January 17, 1792) by the "Bureau des archives 
du Commerce, "f This was in reality only a change of name, 
to judge by a circular of January 17, 1792, which explained 
very clearly the mission of what pretended to be a new bureau. 
Its activity is shown in a report which Roland, Minister of 
Interior, presented to the Convention, at the end of 1792, on 
the imports and exports of France during the first half of the 
year. But it ceased completely from that date, and no official 
statistics of the foreign trade of France seem to have been set 
down for the years 1793, 1794, 1795 and 1796. The political 
events of that time sufficiently explain this interruption. 

The annual figure for the imports and exports is found 
again from 1797 on. But we cannot accept without serious 
reservations either the figures for the years 1797 to 1801, 
the period when, thanks to Chaptal who had become Minis- 

* The critical observations of Necker are fully confirmed by the learned researches 
of M. Masson into the customs statistics drawn up by the Chambre de Commerce of 
Marseilles apropos the commerce of the Levant, from 1660 to 1661, from 1661 to 
1715 and from 1715 to 1778. See, first, Histoire du Commerce frangaia dans le 
Levant au XVIIime siicle. Appendix pp. XIII-XXV; second, Histoire du Commerce 
Jrangais dans le Levant au XVIIIime siicle, pp. 407-409 and 410-635. 

t The Bureau des archives formed part of a Bureau Central de V Administration du 
Cofmtnerce the creation of which was ordered by the Legislative and which was 
connected with the Ministry of the Interior. The instructions of January 17, 1792, 
are of very great interest. They deserve to be quoted in their entirety. But for 
want of space we shall be content to refer to the work of M. Fallain', he. dt. pp. 
316-319 where the complete text may be found. The reports of Roland and later 
those of Chaptal, prepared with the help of lists drawn up by the Bureau des ar- 
chives, were published only under exceptional circumstances. These lists, the ele- 
ments of which, from 1792 on, were furnished by the customs service, remained 
locked up in the boxes of the Ministry of the Interior. They were brought to light 
by the Bureau de la Statistique gSnSrale in its first volume published in 1838. 


ter of Interior November 6, 1800, the regular publication of 
the statistics for foreign trade was resumed, or those for the 
years 1811 to 1814 for which the official figures are lacking 
and are replaced by figures borrowed from a table published 
in August, 1830, by Cesar Moreau, President of the SociStS 
Frangaise de Statistique Universelle in the Bulletin of that 

Like all official documents, the documents of customs 
statistics were kept secret up to 1789. We have them, 
however, and with sufficient guaranties of authenticity, for 
the years 1716 to 1787. They were published complete: 1st, 
in 1795, by Arnould, in his book. La Balance du Commerce; 
2d, in 1830, by Cesar Moreau, who says that he found them 
in a "manuscript table made for the instruction of the king 
by M. Trudaine de Montigny, of all the magistrates of the 
Conseil the most distinguished for vision, talent and accu- 
racy"; 3d, in 1838, by the Ministry of Commerce in the docu- 
ment entitled: Statistique de la France; Commerce extirieur. 

The figures of Cesar Moreau are the same as those of 
Arnould. Those of the Ministry of Commerce often differ 
from them widely. With de Foville we believe that prefer- 
ence should be given to those of Arnould. It is with them 
that our learned and lamented colleague composed the 
precious tables which he inserted in the Bulletin de Statis- 
tique et de LSgislation ComparSe of the Ministry of Finance 
(number for January, 1883, pp. 46-80).* 

We ought to mention here, still apropos of economic 
statistics, the creation, in 1782, under the Ministry of Cal- 
onne, of the Comiti de l' Agriculture. This committee which 
was the first embryo of our Ministry of Agriculture, was 
very actively busy, from 1785 to 1787, in establishing a sort 
of agricultural statistics of France. It ordered one of its 
members, Dupont de Nemours, to present to it in 1786, "a 

* The figures given by Necker in V Administration des Finances de la France (Vol. 
II, pp. 130 ff.) and those which one finds in some manuscripts existing in the Ar- 
chives Nationales differ also from those of Arnould. But that does not prevent 
Levasseur from giving, like de Foville, preference to the latter. See Hisimre du 
Commerce, Vol. I, p. 510. 

» FRANCE 271 

summary (apergu) of the value of the crops of the kingdom." 
And it is from these works that Lavoisier, who was a memjber 
of the Comity, with Dupont de Nemours, borrowed largely 
for the great inventory of which we shall speak presiently.* 

Financial Statistics 

No special organization devoted to financial statistics 
appeared in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 
The facts which constitute the subject matter of financial 
statistics enumerate themselves as they are accomplished. 

If one wishes to understand the burning curiosity with 
which the data that financial statistics might furnish were 
sought for and commented on, one must remember that all 
the enlightened spirits of the time thought as Colbert did 
when he said to Louis XIV in his great m6moire of 1663 on 
financial afiPairs: "It is a constant and generally recognized 
maxim in all the states of the world that finance is the most 
important and most essential part. It is a matter which 
enters into all affairs, both those that concern the internal 
existence of the state and those that concern its external 
growth and power, "f One must also remember that the 
claims made before the States-General of 1614 by the Chan- 
cellor and by the representative of the Clergy were main- 
tained up to 1789. "Kings," declared the Chancellor, 
"cannot without danger and risk make known the state and 
strength of their finances which are the sinews and power of 
their state." And as these words provoked some murmurs, 
the representative of the Clergy came to the assistance of 
the Chancellor, saying: "Finances are the sinew of the state. 
But even as the sinews are hidden under the skin, so must 
financial strength or weakness be kept secret. In ancient 
times when the Holy of Holies was unveiled it was only the 
High Priest who entered the Sanctuary, the others remained 
outside. Finance is the manna enclosed in the golden ark." 

* See on this Comity, Pigeonneau and de Foville, l' Administration de V Agriculture 
au Contrdle girUral des Finances, 1786-1787, in -8°, 1882, and on the Apergu of 
Dupont de Nemours, see pp. 140-148. 

tSee Letlres, Instructions et Mimoires, Vol. II, p. 17. 


It is true that the celebrated Compte rendu au roi of Jan- 
uary, 1781, was, by order of Louis XVI, offered to the public 
and circulated to the extent of several thousand copies.* 
But that was an exception. Necker himself, author of the 
Compte rendu, was obliged three years later to have his great 
work, V Administration des Finances de la France, printed 
secretly, and there was a procureur gSnSral who denounced 
that book before the Parlement of Brittany on the ground 
"that it revealed the operations of the administration and 
the secrets of the state." 

We possess a sufficiently large number of statistical data 
relating to the last two centuries of the French monarchy. 
Much was published in the course of the eighteenth century 
in forbidden works whose authors often found accomplices 
among those who ought to have had them condemned. 
Much also was published by the scholars of our time who 
set themselves the task of bringing to light the rich collec- 
tions of manuscript in our Archives Nationales. 

Among the works of the eighteenth century we shall men- 
tion only the principal ones : 

First, Recherches et Consider ations sur les Finances de la 
France depuis I'annSe 1596 jusqu'd Vannie 1721, by Veron de 
Forbonnais, 1758. Two editions were published simultane- 
ously, one dated at Basle in two volumes, quarto, the other 
dated at Liege in six volumes, duodecimo. It is the edition 
of Basle that we have before us. Forbonnais had already 
written several memoires on finance, and a book entitled 
EUments du Commerce, when he was called in 1756 to the 
office of inspecteur gSnSral des Monnaies and became shortly 
after the right arm of the Controleur giniral Silhouette. He 
was in a position to get in touch with all the documents kept 
by the administration of the controle gSnSral des Finances. 
That is why, doubtless, he could give, year by year, from 
1595 to 1721, the essential elements of the financial situation 
of France with numerous tables to support them. 

Second, Comptes-rendus de V administration des Finances du 

* Six thousand, it is said. 


royaume de France pendant les onze demises annSes du rhgne 
de Henri IV, le regne de Louis XIII et 65 annSes de Louis 
XIV, a posthumous work of M. Mallet, first Commis des 
Finances under M. Desmaretz, 1708-1715, London, 1789, 

Third, Collection des comptes-rendus, pieces authentiques, 
Stats et tableaux concernant les Finances de France depuis 
1758 jusqu'en 1787 by Mathon de la Cour, Lausanne, 1788, 
quarto. The state of French finance is set forth in this work 
year by year. It seems that here is found the text itself of 
the memoires and reports of the Controleurs gSnSraux. 

These three works complete each other. They form a unit 
of greatest interest from the twofold point of view of the 
history of finance and of the history of French financial 

Among the numerous contemporary works which contain 
the documents of financial statistics taken from the manu- 
script collections of our national archives we shall mention 
only the following: 

First, La Correspondance des Controleurs gSnSraux des 
finances avec les intendants de province 1683 a 1715, published 
by de Boislile, quarto. Examination one by one of the 
hundreds of pieces which make up this correspondence 
reveals a priceless mine of documents which are of interest 
not only for the history of financial statistics in particular 
but for the history of statistics in general. 

Second, Les Lettres, Instructions et MSmoires de Colbert by 
Clement, Vols. I and II; Vol. II is entirely taken up with 
the Affaires des Finances. One will notice there (pp. 771- 
783) one of the annual resumes of the state of finance which 
Colbert presented to Louis XIV, that of the year 1680, at 
the end of which one may read the table of receipts and 
expenses from 1662 to 1680. 

But a double question arises. What is, precisely, the 
character of the figures contained in these two categories of 
works and what is the value of them? 

To the first one can answer that the figures are, for the 



most part, official figures; by that we mean that they are 
almost always taken from documents which the department 
of Finance drew up in conformity with the rules which it 
had to observe and without the least concern for publicity, 
which they were not intended to receive. And to the second 
question the reply ought to be that in spite of the official 
character of these figures, it would be very unwise to believe 
them absolutely accurate. We know by too numerous ex- 
amples that it was no trouble for the high officials of the 
financial administration of the monarchy to falsify, by 
alterations or concealments, the figures which rendered 
account of their operations. We also know that they were 
encouraged in this by the disorder and the obscurity which 
characterized till the end the financial management of the 

Necker's work belongs to the history of statistics in a 
double sense. First, because the illustrious Minister of 
Finance largely used and sometimes even abused statistics. 
Then because he conceived more clearly than his predeces- 
sors, Sully and Colbert, the necessity of coordination by the 
creation of a real organ of general statistics. 

In the Compte-rendu au Roi of January, 1781, in a great 
number of chapters of his Administration des Finances 
de la France (1784) and in the Etat GSnSral des Revenus et 
Defenses fixes, presented to the States-General, May 5, 1789, 
Necker did the work of a consummate statistician. It is in 
the domain of financial statistics that he prefers to work. 
But outside finance there is hardly a subject lending itself 
to numerical observation which he does not approach and 
try to illuminate by the use of statistics, such as population, 
foreign trade, the monetary circulation of France, the cultiva- 
tion of land, hospitals, beggary. That the figures which he 
gives are often inexact is incontestable, and statisticians 
have this grievance against him no less than financiers and 
politicians. But that is a fault which would have been cor- 
rected by the publication of all statistical documents, which 
Necker courageously insisted on and of which he gave the 


first example. Not only administrative conduct but also 
statistics must naturally be improved by publicity which 
submits them to the control of public opinion. 

Necker and General Statistics of France 

Necker has set forth his project for the organization of a 
bureau de statistique gSn6rale in his book V Administration des 
Finances de la France (Vol. Ill, Ch. XXVIII). What he 
"planned to propose to his Majesty was the establishment 
of a particular bureau intended solely for the collecting of 
interesting information and arranging this information in a 
clear and easy order" (p. 355). The object of this informa- 
tion ought in his opinion to be (pp. 356-358) : " the extent of 
all the contributions of the people, the respective proportions 
of each class, the division of these same contributions by 
provinces, the cost of collection, the number of employees 
in the treasury, the consumption of salt and tobacco, the 
docket of seizures and condemnations for contraband, the 
number of hospitals, the number of patients which they re- 
ceive annually, the increase or diminution of mendicants and 
abandoned children, the extent of the roads and their an- 
nual increase, the average number of those subject to work 
on the roads (corviables) in each province, general table of; 
the public debt, statements of the general operations of the 
Caisse d'Escompte and the Mont-de-PiStS, the progress of the 
cultivation of lands, the progress of population and of the 
circulation of coin, the sum of imports and exports according 
to the kind of merchandise. But it would be desirable to be 
able to find also in the same depository several other kinds of 
information, some of which, though apparently a matter of 
simple curiosity, nevertheless have more or less direct bearing 
upon all the deliberations demanded by financial administra- 
tion and the government in general: such, for example, are 
instructive researches in the amount of consumption of the 
principal articles, the mean proportion between the seeding 
and the product of lands, in different parts of the realm, in 
the amount of land under cultivation, in variations in the 


price of labor, in the relations between the number of nobles 
and privileged and the number of common people (roturiers), 
in the number of ecclesiastics, in the number of Protestants, 
in the progress of luxury in the capital, in the brevity of life 
in some dangerous occupations, in the interest of foreigners 
and of each nation in particular in the public funds, in the 
condition and occupation of beggars or unfortunates assisted 
in the diflFerent houses of charity and in many other equally 
interesting subjects. " 

One might wish for a better arranged enumeration, but 
one could hardly ask for a more complete one. Does it not 
include all the chapter headings in the Annuaires Statistiques 
published by all civiKzed countries today? Necker had in 
mind, moreover, the preparation of a veritable Annuaire de 
Statistique which the new bureau was to supply. "It should 
be observed, " he says (pp. 358-359) "that in all departments 
of the administration there are persons in a position to make 
researches relating to their ordinary occupations; and so the 
new work would be limited to directing them, to soliciting the 
different sorts of information, to putting them in order and 
noting the variations which time might bring about. . . . 
All the information which might be gathered ought to be in- 
scribed in abridged form in a special register, referring for the 
details to separate books; and in this way a general abstract 
of the work could be brought together every year in a very 
small space." Is not a "general abstract every year" ex- 
actly our contemporaneous Annuaire Statistique? 

But Necker went still further. He conceived and insisted 
on international statistics. The following passage (p. 361) 
leaves no doubt of that: "It would be desirable for all the 
governments to form a depository similar to that we have just 
indicated; it would be desirable if they should come some day 
to commimicate without diflSculty all the general observa- 
tions of which they should not be too jealous. It seems to me 
that this noble and touching rapprochement would be likely 
to unite them still more and arouse generous sentiments 
everywhere. " 


It is true that the illustrious and clear-seeing Genevan did 
not succeed in realizing his vast program of statistical or- 
ganization. Events did not permit it. But if others, more 
fortunate than he, succeeded a little later in realizing it fully, 
is it not just to ascribe to him at least in part the merit and 
honor of it? 

The Revolution and Statistics 

It was the French Revolution which tried immediately to 
realize the program. 

The Revolution of 1789 opened in France a new era in 

statistics. It is difficult to imagine the extraordinary vogue 

-which this form of observing social facts enjoyed, from 1790 

to 1805, not only with the public authorities but in public 


Setting out to renew from top to bottom the fiscal system 
of France, the Constituent Assembly felt the need of knowing 
as exactly as possible the state of the resources of the country 
and the number of the population. It put the first problem 
to Lavoisier and the second to a general enumeration or- 
ganized under Articles I and II of the Law of July 22, 1791. 

Lavoisier responded to the appeal of the ComitS des Con- 
tributions publiqties of the Constituent by offering it the 
r6sum6 of an immense work which he had put on the stocks 
in 1784 and which the tragic events that marked the end 
of his life did not allow him leisure to finish. The Con- 
stituent had Lavoisier's work printed in 1791, under the 
following title: Risultats extraits d'un ouvrage intituU: de 
la Richesse territoriale du royaume de France, ouvrage dont la 
redaction n'est point encore achevSe, remis au ComitS de 
Vimposition par M. Lavoisier de I'AcadSmie des Sciences* 

Lavoisier's purpose is twofold. It is, in the first place, to 
find methods which will permit the calculation of the annual 
consumption and production of France as they have been 
found for calculating the population. It is, in the second 

*Xlie text of it may be found in the Collection des Eeonomiites, de Guillaimin, Vol. 
XIV, pp. 680-607. 


place, by applying the methods adopted, to furnish a certain 
number of statistical data. 

But Lavoisier does not conceal from himself the inade- 
quacy of the means of information at hand in 1791. So he 
takes up again the idea of Necker, and addressing himself 
no longer to the king, as Necker had done, but to the repre- 
sentatives of the nation, he declares: "that it will depend 
only on them to found for the future a public establishment 
in which shall be mingled the results of the balance of agri- 
culture, of commerce and of population; in which the situa- 
tion of the realm, its wealth in men, in production, in indus- 
try, in accumulated capital shall be portrayed as in a brief 
picture. To found this great establishment, which does not 
exist in any nation, which can exist only in France, the 
National Assembly has only to desire it and will it. The 
actual organization of the realm seems to have been ar- 
ranged in advance to lend itself to all these researches. " 

That is indeed Necker's idea. But it is expressed by 
Lavoisier with a force and an authority which one could not 
expect of the Minister of Louis XVT. 

The Constituent resolved, without hesitation, to proceed 
to the complete enumeration, head by head, of the French 
population, thus giving a shining proof of that profound 
sense of the necessities of government which was allied in 
it with conceptions often Utopian. Two measures served as 
preface to the law of July 19-22, 1791. The first had a 
fiscal purpose : it was embodied in a decree of June 28, 1790, 
prescribing that directors of departments draw up a table 
of all the municipalities with the amount of the active pop- 
ulation and the imports. The second measure had a social 
purpose; it took the form of an instruction, July 9, 1790, 
from the Committee on Mendicancy, demanding a complete 
enumeration with a view to the distribution of aid. But 
the execution of these measures left much to be desired. 
And that is why, no doubt, the authors of the great organic 
law of municipal policy wished, first of all, to organize the 
general enumeration of the population. 


This is the text of Articles I and II of the law of July 22, 
1791. They are evidently inspired by the conceptions of 
Vauban (see above p. 43). 

"Art. I. — In the towns and in the country, the munici- 
pal bodies shall have a statement made of the roll of the 
inhabitants, either by municipal oflScers or by Commissaires 
de police, if there are such, or by citizens appointed for this 
purpose. Every year, in the course of the months of Novem- 
ber and December, that roll shall be verified anew. " 

"Art. II. — The register shall record the declarations 
which each inhabitant shall have made of his name, age, 
place of birth, last place of residence, profession, trade and 
other means of subsistence. " 

These provisions have never been abrogated. But they 
have never been put in force.* The formula (visa) which 
one finds in all the laws relating to the quinquennial enumer- 
ations which are made today is only homage rendered to 
the great legislators of the first years of the Revolution. In 
vain two decrees of August 11 and August 20, 1793, and the 
law of October 2, 1795, recalled the necessity of observing 
these provisions. Neither the Convention nor the Direc- 
toire could bring it about. And yet, under the Directory, 
the Ministry of Interior, which was for the moment in charge 
of all enumerations, was entrusted twice in succession, in 
1798 and in 1799, to one of the most ardent experts in sta- 
tistics, Frangois de Neufchateau. 

It would be unjust not to note, in the history of French sta- 
tistics, the work of this minister of the Directoire. The activity 
which he displayed as Minister of Interior, and especially 
in the domain of statistics, was truly extraordinary. One 
can form an idea of it by running over his Recueil des Lettres, 
circulaires, instructions, programmes, discours et autres actes 
publics Smanis du citoyen Frangois de Neufchateau pendant ses 
deux exercises du Ministirede VInterieur (2 Vols. 8vo, Paris. — 

*We wished to know, in 1911, in how many communes of France this provision 
had been applied. We discovered 123 out of 36,192. In only three was it applied 
as far back as 1791'. It went back to 1796, in the communes of Nancy and de Badon- 


Imprimerie de la R6publique, an VII). There one can follow 
his incessant efforts appHed, with a somewhat naive ardor, 
to all subjects relevant to statistics and trying to get from 
statistics exact figures on every one of them. The cost of 
living, the state of factories and manufactures, educational 
institutions, of which nobody before him had ever dreamed 
of asking for an enumeration, the state of the population 
and its movement, — he is indifferent to nothing, or, to tell 
the truth, he is equally passionate about everything. He 
returns insistently to the necessity of keeping carefully the 
registers of I'itat-civil, while he often deplores the negligence 
of a great number of municipalities in this matter. It is to 
him that we owe the first almost complete official frame- 
work of the general statistics of France. He outlined it in 
a great circular of 30 Frimaire an VII addressed to the 
"administrations centrales de dSpartement." 

Of all branches of statistics the one perhaps which events 
contributed to develop most highly during the last years 
of the eighteenth century was that which concerned the 
necessities of life. The political economy of the Revolution 
was hardly more than a sad copy of that of the monarchy, 
and it had to lead fatally to the same results. The excessive 
regulation of the production and distribution of the neces- 
sities of life, as it was managed by Philip the Fair or by the 
Convention, had the inevitable result of compelling the 
authorities to know exactly by strict enumerations the 
quantities and the prices. The task of having these enu- 
merations made was entrusted to the Service des Subsistances 
which was joined to the Ministry of Interior by a decree of 
April 27, 1792. This Service was modified very often under 
the Convention and under the Directoire. But among its 
functions were always the statistics of crops and of prices 
and it was again placed under the Ministry of Interior when 
Lucien Bonaparte and Chaptal, at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century, became the chiefs of this department.* 

*See for further details on this point Levasseur, Note on the service des subsist- 
ances, in the volume of the XXVime anniversaire de la SociitS de StaUstique de Paris, 
pp. 194-195. 


There is little to say of financial statistics under the Revo- 

They were, like the financial institutions themselves, in 
process of transformation. The ancient organisms are 
broken. The new organisms, in the torment which seizes 
upon France, have not yet been able to form. They will 
appear only with the Constitution of the year VIII and the 
Consulate. The Constituent could not succeed in drawing 
up the complete table of public expenses. The Legislative 
Assembly and the Convention were unable to establish a 
budget determined by the balance of receipts and expendi- 

However, financial statistics exist under the Revolution. 
They are even very abundant. Two traits characterize 
them and distinguish them profoundly from the financial 
statistics of the ancient regime; first, they are most often 
the work of men who are conscientiously seeking the truth 
and who place it passionately at the service of public wel- 
fare; second, they are subjected to the widest publicity and 
the freest discussion. There has never been seein such a 
multiplication of books and pamphlets filled with figures 
relating to public finance as from 1789 to 1799. 

The oflBcial documents of financial statistics of this time 
are almost all m6moires, reports or messages addressed to 
the great deliberative assemblies. 

We shall cite only the principal ones: 

First. The Rapport made in the name of the Committee 
of Finance by the Marquis de Montesquieu, November 18, 
1789. In it is found a table of the debts of France and 
especially of the debts called criardes (crying). 

Second. La Proclamation on public contributions issued 
by the National Assembly to the French June 24, 1791. 
All the old imposts and all the new are there set forth and 

Third. The Rapport of the Marquis de Montesquieu, of 

*See Stourm, BiUiographie historique des finances de la France au XVllIime 
tiide, p. 171. 


August 27, 1790, on the public debt, its origins, the amount 
of its capital and interest. The public debt, in 1798, con- 
stituted an enormous mass, very complicated and very 
obscure. The purpose of the rapport, to some extent at 
least, was to indict the monarchy as well as to discover all the 
elements and fix their exact figure. This explains the many 
statistical investigations aimed at the monarchy by the 
assemblies of the Revolution. 

Fourth. Several mSmoires presented by Tarb6, minister 
of contributions publiques under the Legislative, notably an 
Etat gSnSral of expenses and means for the year 1792. 

Fifth. The numerous mSmoires or rapports of Cambon 
to the Legislative and the Convention, on the national 
treasury, on the state of finance, on the issue of paper- 
money {assignats), on the value of national property. All 
the reports of Cambon, no matter what their particular 
subject may be, including the celebrated report on the Grand- 
livre of the public debt, August 15, 1793, are by far the most 
important source of financial statistics under the Revolution.* 

Sixth. A certain number of Messages financier es ad- 
dressed by the Directoire to the Assembly of Five Hundred 
from the 5th Brumaire an IV (October 27, 1795) to the 18th 
Brumaire an VII (November 9, 1799). 

We shall have completed the development of statistics in 
the eighteenth century when we have mentioned the promise 
inscribed by the Constituent Assembly, apropos of the 
complete laicization of the actes de Vitat-dvil in article 7 
{Titre II), of the Constitution of 1791, and the fulfilment 
of this promise by the Legislative Assembly in the law of 
September 20, 1792. 

Neither the law of 1792 nor the provisions of the Civil 
Code of 1804 which resulted from it have a statistical pur- 
pose. But they nevertheless make fundamental use of those 
statistical operations the object of which today is the actes de 
I'itat-civil. It is on this score that they deserve to be noted 

*M. Stourm gives the complete list of them in the work cited in the preceding 
note. See pp. 205-206, 221-224. 


IV. Statistics in France in the Nineteenth Century 

The nineteenth century has witnessed in France most of 
the progress in the organization and practice of enumera- 
tions which the most advanced spirits since Ftoelon and 
Vauban, the abbe de Sainte-Pierre and the abb6 Expilly, 
up to Necker and Lavoisier and de Neufchateau had only 
been able to see dimly and prepare for. It is truly a cen- 
tury of substantial realization. 

The picture of the progress of statistics in France in the 
nineteenth century would fill a volume. We are obliged 
here to put it in a few pages. But a brief sketch can still 
give, at least we hope so, an idea of the road that has been 
travelled and the work that has been done. 

These are what ought to be, as we see it, the essential 
traits which it is proper to put in relief in this picture. 

It is, in the first place, the extension of enumerations to 
all the categories of facts touched by administrative and 
governmental action. It is the adoption, for all enumera- 
tions, old as well as new, of rational methods inspired by a 
true scientific spirit. It is the conception and the execution 
of enumerations made no longer with the exclusively utili- 
tarian object of facilitating administrative and govern- 
mental work, but with the higher object of satisfying the 
desire for knowledge and disinterested research. It is the 
wide publicity assured to all figures furnished by enumer- 
ations. It is, finally, the multiplication of special institu- 
tions established to carry out enumerations and publish the 
results of them. 

The account of the statistical labors which the nineteenth 
century has imposed on all our departments of public serv- 
ice will find its natural place later when we come to explain 
the actual state of French statistics. 

We shall confine ourselves in this last chapter devoted to 
history: first, to giving by an example the measure of prog- 
ress made in method; second, to making known the principal 
branches of public service especially devoted to statistics, 
which have been created in the course of the nineteenth 


Demographic Statistics in the Nineteenth Century 

I. We shall appeal to statistics of population for the 
example of the improvements that have been made. 

Population in all times and in all countries is the essential 
object of statistics, and the enumeration of population is at 
the same time the most necessary and the most diflficult. 
Is it not, as Frangois de Neufchateau said, in a circular of 
15 Fnictidor an VI, "the measure of the strength, the source 
of the wealth, the political thermometer of the power of 
states"? (See loc. cit. Vol. I, p. 142.) 

The assemblies of the Revolution had committed to the 
Ministry of Interior, created by the law of August 7, 1790, 
the task of making all the enumerations relating to the 
population, its status and movement. Nothing was changed 
in this regard under the Consulate and under the Empire. 
The Bureau de Statistique created in 1800 (we shall speak of 
it again a little further on), and especially charged with the 
work of population statistics, was subordinated to the 
Ministry of Interior until 1812. It disappeared at this 
time. When M. Thiers reestablished it, in 1833, statistics 
of population remained one of its duties, but it passed from 
the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Commerce. In 
spite of that the Ministry of Interior has kept a sufficiently 
important r6le, a r6le rather administrative than statistical, 
in the quinquennial enumerations. 

One of the first acts of Lucien Bonaparte, who became 
Minister of Interior some weeks after the Coup d'Etat of 
the 18 Brumaire (November 9, 1799), was to cause the 
passage of the law, 28 Pluvoise an VIII (February 17, 1800), 
prescribing a general enumeration of the population. This 
is what he said in a circular of S6 Floreal an VIII (May 16, 
1800) addressed to the prefects* on the occasion of this 
law: "Since the year IV, Citizen, the general administra- 
tion has made unavailing efforts to procure complete lists 

* We borrow the text of this circular from the Annales de Statistique of Bal- 
lois, the founder, in 1802, of the first SociUi de Statistique which existed in 
France and, we believe, in Europe. See Vol. II, pp. 8-10. 


of the population of the Republic; the great number of 
objects which they wished to bring together may have been 
one of the principal reasons for the inaccuracy or the omis- 
sions of the invoices. To overcome this obstacle I have had 
a table drawn up in which it is only a question of determining 
the result of the enumeration of the inhabitants of the Re- 
public. It is necessary," he added in conclusion, "that this 
work be done with such precision that the completed whole 
may reach me within two months at the latest." 

But the difficulties of execution were again stronger than 
the will of the legislator. The obstacles before which the 
iniendants and the controleurs gSnSraux of the ancient regime 
had yielded, and which had not escaped the Conseil d'Etat 
(vote of the S7 Fructidor an IX) were rooted in causes too 
deep to disappear in a few years. It was not two months 
but two years that they took to respond to the imperious 
appeal of Lucien Bonaparte, and he was no longer Minister 
of Interior when the responses arrived. These responses 
were published in 1802 {An X).* They were hardly taken 
seriously as Peuchet testifies.f And it was the same with 
figures furnished by another census ordered by a circular of 
November 3, 1805, and taken in 1806. We find proof in 
evidence of another sort, it seems, from the testimony of de 
Peuchet, proof to which nobody has paid attention, in the 
magisterial introduction to the ThSorie Analytique des proba- 
bilitis de Laplace,t "The registers of births which are kept 
with care in order to ensure the status of citizens," says 
Laplace (p. 45), "may serve to determine the population of 
a great empire, without recurring to an enumeration of its 
inhabitants, an operation which is troublesome and difficult 
to perform accurately. But for this it is necessary to know 
the ratio of the population to the annual births." How 

* Under the title: Tableau giiUrd de la nouveUe divido/n de la France en dSparte- 
ments, arrondisaements, communes et justices de paix . . . indiquani la popvla- 
tion, I'Hendue territoriale et le nomhre des communes . . . 

t Peuchet, StaMstique de la France, p. iiS. 

I The text which we quote is taken from the third edition dated 1820; the first 
appeared in 1812. 


arrive at that? After having indicated, with much preci- 
sion, the surest method, Laplace informs us that the govern- 
ment, convinced of the utility of employing this method, at 
his request, ordered the counting, on September 23, 1802, 
of the exact number of inhabitants in certain communes 
chosen from 30 dSpartements. Armed with the figures sup- 
plied by this enumeration, and after having compared them 
with the number of births recorded in these same communes 
during the years 1800, 1801 and 1802, Laplace made his 
calculation and arrived, for the whole of France, at the figure 
of 28,352,845 inhabitants, while the oflficial figures, of which 
he does not breathe a word, were for 1801, 27,347,800, and 
for 1806, 29,107,425. And the illustrious mathematiciasn 
declares himself (p. 46) ready to "wager 300,000 to 1 thai 
the error of this result is less than half a million." Who would 
have dared make such a wager for the figures furnished the 
Ministry of Interior by the prefects? 

If we remember that Laplace had been Minister of Interior 
before Lucien Bonaparte, that he had intimate knowledge of 
all the data of demographic statistics of his time and that his 
introduction to the ThSorie Analytique des probabilith bears 
the dates 1812-1820, we shall understand that his silence 
with respect to the official figures of 1801 and 1806 is even 
more decisive than the criticisms of Peuchet. 

Thus from 1806 to 1820, the question of a general enumera- 
tion of the French people disappears. One would think that, 
in this respect, things had gone backward a hundred years. 

How can we explain the sudden abandoning of a method 
which the assemblies and the ministers of the Revolution had 
adopted with enthusiasm? By the scepticism of Laplace as 
to its efficiency? By the confidence which the calculations of 
the great mathematician may have inspired? Without 
doubt, but only to a certain extent. The true explanation 
lies elsewhere. No general enumeration was attempted 
under the Empire because the Emperor did not wish it. 
Napoleon was, as is well known,* in the habit of counting 

* See the chanmng and instructive communication read by A. de Foville, at 


everything; he estimated the service of statistics at its full 
value (was it not he who said: "Statistics are the budget of 
things and without a budget there is no safety"?); and he 
was not a man to shrink before the difficulties of carrying 
out an enterprise which he thought necessary. But we 
know also that he liked statistics in the way that Louis XIV 
liked them, that he demanded statistics of his prefects as the 
great king had demanded them of his intendanis, on the con- 
dition that they should not furnish fuel for indiscreet curios- 
ity and the niisplaced criticisms of those whom he called 
in the worst sense of the word, "ideologues." Now, if the 
general enumeration of the French population had been 
made, for example, in 1811, the Minister of Interior, de 
Montalivet, could not have written in his ExposS de la 
situaiion de I'Empire, presented to the Corps LSgislatif, 
February 25, 1813: "The population has continued to in- 
crease; industry has made new progress; never have the 
lands been better cultivated; the manufactures more flour- 
ishing; at no period in our history has wealth been more 
distributed among the different classes of society"! 

A general census was prescribed, for the year 1821, by a 
circular of June 26, 1820. But it is probable that the official 
table of the population which it furnished and which was 
annexed to a royal ordinance of January 16, 1822, was ob- 
tained by means of a simple estimate. It was the same in 
1826 and in 1831. 

From 1836 to 1901, there were in France four general 
enumerations of the population. Their detailed history 
would require long explanations and would not be in place 
here.* It will suffice for us to point out, in a word, the im- 
portant changes which were made in the methods employed 
in the course of this period of nearly three quarters of a cen- 

The quinquennial periodicity of enumerations (1796, 1801, 

the 13th session of the Institut International de SUUistiqtie (The Ha^e), September 
B, 1911, under the title: NapoUon Statislicien. 

* This history will be found in the Introduction to Vol. I of the Riivltatt Statit- 
tiquet du recensement gSniral de la population du SU Man, 1901, pp. 2-14. 


1806), was at first only a matter of custom. It was finally 
established by the royal decree of January 16, 1822. It 
offers indisputable advantages. It renders more exact the 
application of all the laws which deal with the figure for the 
population, and it assures good work in making the census 
because it makes it easy to keep on a permanent force of 
trained men. 

A great step forward was taken in 1836 thanks to the use, 
for the first time, of a form which designated the inhabitants 
by family and by household {par famille et par mSnage). 
It was completed in 1876 by the individual report {bulletin). 
The sheet for the household {feuille de mSnage) is kept, but 
it must contain as many individual reports as there are 
residents. With the individual report there was obtained 
at once more accuracy in enumeration and greater ease in 
compilation {dSpouUlement) . 

Until 1881 the census was not taken everywhere at the 
same time; its duration was indeterminate and variable. 
In 1881 it was agreed that the census should be made on a 
fixed day, December 18, and that it should take in all people, 
in a commune, who had spent there the night of December 17. 

Finally, in 1901, it was decided to substitute for a com- 
pilation by communes followed by a recapitulation by 
dSpartements a system of central compilation which all 
French statisticians had insisted on for a long time. In- 
stead of a compilation scattered over the 30,000 communes 
of France, made up, to tell the truth, of 30,000 different 
compilations in which the too numerous chances of error 
could hardly be diminished by revisions in the prefectures, 
we have since 1901 a single compilation conducted by a 
central department, especially established for this purpose, 
under the best conditions as regards accuracy and quickness. 
No doubt there is still much to be desired in point of accuracy 
and speed. But that is due to the faults of human nature at 
least as much as to the defects of om* system of enumeration. 

The general enumerations of which we have just spoken 
were not the only ones known to the nineteenth century. 

FRANCE . 289 

There were also partial enumerations and local enumera- 

By partial enumerations we mean those which included 
only a fraction of the population, for example, those which 
were made from 1839 to 1845 and from 1861 to 1865 and 
which, among other objects, determined the number of 
workmen employed in manufacturing. 

Municipal Statistics 

By local enumerations we mean those which were made 
in certain cities of France, Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Bordeaux, 
Havre, Nancy and Reims, to mention only the more im- 
portant. Those of Paris, the work of the administration 
prifectorale and of the Municipality of the Capital deserve, 
as much for the fact that they were made long ago as for 
their extent and value, to occupy a place of honor in the 
history of French statistics in the nineteenth century.* 

In 1816 the administration prifectorale of the Seine con- 
ceived the idea of resuming and renewing the Recherches 
Statistiques sur la ville de Paris, which went back, it seems, 
to the years 1802 and 1803, and which, in reality, were bound 
up with the publication of the actes de Vitat-civil ordered by 
Colbert in 1670. "The most important object of these 
researches was the complete enumeration of the population 
of the Capital; they succeeded, finally, in 1817 (February) 
in surmounting the obstacles which had up to that time stood 
in the way."t These investigations were carried out ac- 
cording to a program "outUned, after an exhaustive dis- 
cussion of all the questions," with the concurrence of the 
mathematician Fourier. The program realized almost all de- 
sirable points of progress. For example, it allowed for the 
use of the individual report. It is thanks to this happy in- 

* We may note also three surveys of industry in Paris made by the Chamber of 
Commerce, the first in 1848, the second in 1860, the third in 1872, the results of 
which were set forth in publications of great interest. 

t Becherdhes Statistiques sur la ville de Paris et le Dipartemeni de la Seine, Vol. I, 
Introduction, p. V. This Vol. I is dated 1821. It is the one that contains a 
judicial study by Fourier entitled: notions gin&rcdes sur la population., pp. 1-94. 


novation that the first census of the population of Paris may 
serve as a model for the quinquennial census of the whole 
of France, and that the PrSfet de la Seine, the Count de 
Chambrol, was justified in saying, at the conclusion of his 
report to the Ministry of Interior: "Accuracy is here carried 
to the highest degree that the administration can attain in 
such an extensive work which is the equivalent of the census 
of twelve cities of 60,000 each. " (See loc. cit. pp. 112-113.) 

After having given a rational organization to the census 
of population, the authorities in Paris wished to do as much 
for the odes de V Hat-civil. And so were established by a de- 
cree of the prifet certificates of death which the physicians 
of the Hat-civil were required to draw up in duplicate. These 
certificates were very detailed; they included no less than 
thirteen categories of information, and they have rendered 
great service to public hygiene and even to scientific studies, 
though they were not fully utilized until 1865. 

For the whole of France, on the contrary, while so many 
improvements were introduced into the taking of the census 
of population, the method followed in the enumeration of the 
odes de I'Stat-civil remained about what it had been at the 
end of the eighteenth century. The compilation of the 
registers of V Hat-civil was made first in each one of the 36,000 
communes of France by the mayor, or, rather, by the mayor's 
secretary. Every year, in the month of January, the secre- 
tary was obliged to run through his three registers of births, 
marriages and deaths, to reread all the actes and extract from 
them a multitude of information which he had to consign 
to a dozen lists of different models. Once filled, these lists 
were sent, to be recapitulated and audited (controles), to the 
Sous — 'prefecture at the capital {fihef-lieu) of the dSparte- 
ment, and finally from the prefecture to the Ministry of 
Commerce to be sent on from there to the Bureau de la 
Statistiqus gSnSrale;* a detestable method which was unan- 
imously condemned by all those who cared for accuracy and 

* The most complete details regarding all these operations may be found in the 
Manuel de Statistigue pratique by Tourquan (1891), pp. 114-164. 


quickness in enumerations. It has happily been abandoned 
since 1907. 

II. If the nineteenth century has been a century of 
exceptional progress in statistics, that is in great part because 
it has introduced into the organization of statistics specializa- 
tion of function, and because division of labor has resulted 
here, as in industry, in the increase, both in quantity and 
quality, of the productive power of man. 

The special statistical institutions created in France in the 
course of the nineteenth century are fairly numerous. 

We shall say a few words about the principal ones, dis- 
tinguishing state institutions from municipal, administrative 
or executive institutions from advisory. < 

Bureau dd la Statistique GSnirale 

This is the first in point of time and in importance which 
should be taken into account in the organization of French 

Some obscurity surrounds its origin. Its creation has 
been credited to Frangois de Neufchateau.* That it may 
have been one of the intentions of that fervent apostle of 
statistics is highly probable. But there is no proof that it 
actually originated with him. Peuchet, whose authority in 
this matter is very great, tells usf "that Lucien Bonaparte 
formed during his ministry a bureau de statistique of which 
he made M. Duquesnoy director," which would place the 
date of its creation between December 25, 1799, and Novem- 
ber 6, 1800. But it seems that the measure was not defini- 
tive until after Lucien Bonaparte went out and was suc- 
ceeded in the Ministry of Interior by Chaptal, if one may 
judge by a decree of the Consuls of the 3 Floreal an IX (April 
23, 1801) assigning the service de la Statistique g6nirale to the 
second bureau of the Ministry of Interior, the head of which 
then was Deferriere, and which numbered among its members 

* See Levasseur, La Population Franfaise, Vol. I, p. 298. 

t See the preliminaiy discourse written by Peuchet at the beginning of Vol. I 
of la Statistique glnirale et partieuliire de la France el de ses colonies by Herbin, T 
Vols. -8°, Paris, 1803. 


Ballois, the founder of the Annales de Statistique and of the 
first SocietS de Statistique de France. Whence it would follow 
perhaps that the honor of creating the Bureau de la Statis- 
tique gSnSrale ought to be divided between Lucien Bonaparte 
and Chaptal.* 

As long as Chaptal remained in the Ministry of Interior 
the activity of the new service (jde la Statistique gSnhale) was 
remarkable. We find the proof of it in the voluminous cor- 
respondence which it held,t for about three years, with the 
prSfets in preparation for a general enumeration of the popu- 
lation and the resources of France which these officials had 
been ordered to make by Lucien Bonaparte and Chaptal. 
But after Chaptal went out of office things underwent a 
curious change. The frifets showed little zeal in fulfilling 
the duty which he had entrusted to them. The central 
power which began to feel, in this regard, the personal influ- 
ence of Napoleon readily took its cue from him, and the great 
enterprise of the general statistics of France with which the 
nineteenth century might well have begun remained still- 
born. So that no one was surprised and no one protested 
when a decree of September 1, 1812, ordered a new division 
of labor in the Ministry of Interior and, this time, suppressed 
the Bureau de la Statistique gSnSrale. 

M. Thiers, Minister of Commerce in 1833, asked the 
Chambres for authority to take up again the idea of publish- 
ing a collection of documents of general statistics of France. 
The authorization and the necessary appropriations were 
granted and the bureau was reestablished, and it began in 
1835 to publish the series of Documents Statistiques sur la 
France. This series consists of 14 volumes in quarto, the 
first of which appeared in 1852. It is far from including all 
national statistics. But it deals with some of the chief 
branches, territory, population, finance, agriculture, indus- 

* See on this subject: First, Un Pr^et du Consvlai, Beugnot by Etienne Dejeau, 
directeur des Archives (1907), pp. 24i7-i886; second, Historique et Travaux de la fin 
du XVIIlime siicle au dibul du XXime par la direction de la Statistique giiUrale de 
la France (1913), pp. 5-8. 

t See Archives Nationales, Sferie F. 20 — Statistique, Vols. I and II. 


try, foreign trade, consumption and prices. And on some 
of these topics it goes back, so far as is possible, to the 
figures of the eighteenth century. 

Under the influence of poUtical events the Bureau de la 
Statistique gSnSrale was subjected to numerous modifications, 
in 1852,* 1871, 1907 and 1910. But they all affected the 
form of the institution rather than its essential character.f 
This has changed very little fundamentally in eighty years. 
It is not so comprehensive as the title given to the bureau 
would lead us to suppose. The principal object, at all 
periods, has been the population of France as it is given 
to us both by the quinquennial census taken since 1801 and 
by the annual summaries of the odes de I'Hat-civU. The only 
document of truly general statistics, the preparation and 
publication of which has been incumbent on the bureau 
since 1878, is the Annuaire Statistique de la France. We shall 
have occasion presently to speak of it again. 

Bureau de Statistique du Ministere de la Justice 

The first idea of assembling and publishing statistical 
data on the workings of the department of justice is set forth 
in a circular of 3 Plumose an IX, and the first publication, 
very limited and condensed, appears in the Exposi de la 
situation de I'Em'pire presented by Montalivet in 1813. 

The annual statistical publications of the Ministry of 
Justice date from 1827. They deal with the cases of the 
year 1825 and only with cases of criminal justice. It was, 
indeed, due to the initiative of a director of affaires crimi- 
nelles in the Ministry of Justice, M. de Guerry de Champneuf, 
that the publication took place. And it is doubtless due 
to the same initiative that the Bureau de Statistique which 
was created at this time was subjoined to the Direction des 
affaires criminelles. Data relating to civil justice were not 

* The decree of July 12, 1852, was not limited, as many imagine, to the prepare^ 
tion of statistics of agriculture; it included the general statistics of France. The 
cantonal commissions were to coSperate in the quinquennial census of the popula- 
tion and the compilation of the registers of VHat-eivil. 

t For details see Historique el travaux . . . loc. eit. pp. 8-18. 


published till 1833; but they go back to the year 1821. The 
first volume contained data for the judiciary years 1821 to 
1830. They might well have gone back further, for the 
collecting of them resulted from carrying out a decree of 
March 30, 1808, which ordered the 'proeureurs giniraux to 
send to the Chancellerie every six months the principal 
results of the administration of Justice. 

Bureau de Statistique du Ministere des Travaux Publics 

The Ministry of Public Works is, perhaps, with the Minis- 
try of Finance, the one which offers for numerical observa- 
tion, in all the domains in which it plays, the most abundant 
and varied material. A great number of special departments 
of statistical service were established in the ministry in the 
course of the nineteenth century. 

An ordinance of December 14, 1844, organizing the central 
administration of this ministry, created under it a Bureau 
Central de Staiistique entrusted with "the research of all 
documents necessary to determine the general movements 
of travel throughout the kingdom; the comparison of the 
costs of transportation by the various methods of commu- 
nication; the study of the influence of tariffs, of the opening 
of new outlets, of analogous facts gathered from all the other 
countries of Europe; the centralization of all information on 
the economic condition of railways," etc. In 1850 an order 
of May 31 reinforced the Bureau with a Commission de 
Statistique centrale. Three ordinances of February 23, 1847, 
April 12, 1848, and June 22, 1863, entrusted to bureaus or 
special departments the Statistics of Railways. In 1874 a 
new order, dated December 28, established a Service d'Studes 
Sconomiques et de renseignements statistiques, whose researches 
were especially confined to roads, canals, ports and tram- 
ways. We may mention, finally, the creation of an ordinance 
of March 12, 1878, of the Bureau de la Statistique gra-phique 
which was to issue for more than twenty years that beau- 
tiful publication known under the name of Album de Statis- 
tique graiphique, for which we owe so much gratitude to the 


learning and devotion of M. Cheysson. This, according to 
an ordinance of July 3, 1878, was to be the mission of this 
bureau: "to prepare representative (figuratives) charts and 
diagrams expressing in graphic form statistical documents 
relating to the current of travel of passengers and freight on 
lines of communication of all kinds and at the sea ports, and 
to the construction and exploitation of these lines and these 
ports, in a word, all the economic facts, technical or financial, 
which relate to statistics and may be of interest to the 
administration of public works." Bearing on the same 
objects, a Bulletin Mensuel de Statistique et de ISgislation com- 
parie was published, beginning with 1880, by the Direction 
of which the bureau was a part and which bore the name: 
Direction des cartes, plans et archives et de la Statistique 
graphique. The Album had begun to appear in 1879. 

Graphic statistics were not, certainly, invented in 1878. 
The real inventor seems to be William Plajrfair, a most 
industrious English statistician of the end of the eighteenth 
century, who published in London, in 1788, Tableaux d'arith- 
mHique linSaire of which two translations appeared in Paris, 
one in 1789, the other in 1802. Graphic statistics were 
applied as early as 1844, explained and defended in a 
mSmoire of 1861, by the French engineer Minard, inspector- 
general of bridges and causeways. But they received their 
final confirmation in 1878, and with our Ministry of Public 
Works remains the honor of having contributed largely to 
the generalization of their use not only in France but in 
foreign countries. 

Why was it necessary that the regrettable mistake should 
have been made, in the last years of the nineteenth century, 
of sacrificing, for the purpose of reducing the budget, some 
of these excellent statistical institutions? The Bureau de la 
Statistique graphique has disappeared and with it the Bulletin 
Mensuel de Statistique et de Ugislatiofi comparSe and the 
Album de Statistique graphique. In particular the suppression 
of this Album is a serious loss to administration and to 


Bureau de Statistique et de Legislation comparie du Ministere 

des Finances 

Of all divisions of statistics Finance is perhaps that in 
which shines most brilliantly the progress achieved in 
France in the nineteenth century. 

With mediocre financial organization and departments of 
finance still more mediocre the monarchy could not but have 
an inadequate system of financial statistics, too condensed to 
enlighten the privileged few who had the right to consult 
them, and often misleading. The same thing was true, 
though for different reasons, under the Revolution and under 
the Empire. Financial statistics began to improve only 
from the moment when there were established in our financial 
legislation the correct and certain methods demanded by the 
practice of a parUamentary regime. This moment may be 
placed somewhere between 1817 and 1825. M. Stourm 
speaks of "the restoration, creator of financial order."* 
One can speak with equal truth of the restoration,! creator 
of financial statistics. 

Up to 1877 all the departments of the Ministry of Finance 
without exception compiled the statistics of their operations 
and also, in the matter of imposts for example, the statistics 
of the facts to which those operations applied. Statistics 
were at once the necessary condition and the natural result 
of the departments discharging their functions properly. 
But each of the departments gave to its statistical work the 
form and extent which it saw fit. The works of some of them 
were regularly published; the works of many were published 
only accidentally or not at all. 

Leon Say was Minister of Finance in 1876. He had the 
happy idea of establishing a Bureau de Statistique et de 
ISgislation compar6e which should constitute the central 
statistical department of the ministry and which should 
publish a Bulletin Mensuel in which should be grouped and 
classified documents emanating from all the special depart- 

* See Le Budget, Sime edition, p. 228. 

t The restoration of the Bourbon kings 181S. — ^Tr. 


ments. And he had the good luck to find at hand the man 
most competent to carry out his idea, namely, Alfred de 
Foville. A requisition for an appropriation (jdemande de 
crSdit) was put before the Chambres in the proposed budget 
of 1877. This is an extract from the explanation of its 
purposes which we find at the beginning of the first section 
(livraison) of the Bulletin (January, 1877) ; it deserves to be 
quoted in full: "The work of statistics and comparative 
legislation, in spite of the importance and the interest which 
it has for an administration as considerable as that of finance, 
has never been centralized in a definitive way, and in default 
of a common management and of sufficient resources, the 
attempts which have been made repeatedly to give to this 
work the necessary unity, development and publicity have 
always remained fruitless. There is a regrettable gap to fill 
up. The usefulness of a methodical and minute observation 
of economic facts is today universally recognized, and purely 
financial statistics, perforce omitted from the publications of 
the Ministries of Agriculture and of Commerce,* constitute 
in themselves a field of study sufficiently broad to justify the 
organization of a special department which has been in- 
sistently demanded for a long time by parliamentary com- 
missions and by French and foreign economists. The 
creation of a Bureau of Statistics will allow the periodic 
presentation to the public of interesting documents on the 
various financial questions, such as: national receipts and 
expenditures, the different laws on the matters of imposts, 
public domain, floating values {vcdeurs mobUieres), banks, etc. 
The annual expense will not exceed 30,000 francs. " 

And this is the response which was made to this requisition 
by the reporter of the commission on the budget of 1877, 
M. Adolphe Cochery: 

"The new appropriations asked for are divided as follows: 

Personnel 20,000 frs. 

Material 2,500 frs. 

Printing 7,500 frs. 

* The Ministry of Agriculture was not separated from the Ministry of Commerce 
until 1881. 


"These appropriations are necessary to create in the 
Ministry of Finance a Bureau of Statistics and comparative 
legislation in what concerns financial questions. A monthly 
bulletin would give to the public the work collected by this 
bureau. Your commission cannot but applaud this project. 
Documents necessary to the study of questions which are so 
important to the economic future of this country are lacking. 
We propose that you grant to the Minister of Finance the 
appropriations which he asks. " 

Two things here are of a nature to surprise a reader who 
has not been forewarned. The first is, for an enterprise of 
this scope, the extreme modesty of the appropriation asked 
for. If instead of being asked for in France it had been 
asked for in the United States, it would have been a matter 
not of 30,000 francs but of 30,000 dollars, perhaps of 100,000, 
The second is that with such a slim appropriation there 
could be obtained the magnificent results which are spread 
through 80 octavo volumes published since 1877, many of 
which run to 700 and 800 pages. 

Without doubt the figures contained in the published 
documents were not gathered by the Bureau of Statistics. 
The collection is the work of special departments. But the 
work which properly belongs to the bureau, which was for 
seventeen years the personal work of Alfred de Foville, is 
the choice and arrangement of the material, the construc- 
tion from this material of tables and charts bearing on facts 
enumerated for long periods and thereby offering great inter- 
est both practical and scientific* We shall revert to it in 
the second part of this work. 

A. Bureau des Subsistances et de la Statistique agricole 

B. Office de renseignements agricoles 

A. The decree of November 14, 1881, which created in 
France the Ministry of Agriculture gave the new ministry 
a Bureau des Subsistances et de la Statistique agricole. Neither 

* See our study of Alfred de FovUle {lAbraire du Syrey, Paris, 1914), p. 66. 


the ministry nor the bureau was really a new institution. 
The ministry had as its antecedent the department of agri- 
culture subjoined to the Ministry of Interior in 1790, and 
later, under the Restoration, to the Ministry of Commerce. 
And the Bureau des Subsistances et de la Statistique went back 
still further, for we find it connected with the Contrdle 
gSnirale des Finances in 1763. 

But in spite of the age and specialization of this organ of 
statistics, in spite of the bold and in many respects remark- 
able attempt which was confirmed by the too little known 
decree of July 1, 1852,* in spite of the decree of November 
14, 1881, French agricultural statistics differed very little in 
the nineteenth century from what they had been in the 
eighteenth. The data were furnished by arbitrary and super- 
ficial estimates due to the transient collaboration of incom- 
petent administrators, prefects, under-prefects, mayors, 
agriculturists and proprietors chosen haphazard. Every- 
body agreed in this and everybody embraced in a prudent 
scepticism all agricultural statistics published in the nine- 
teenth century, the decennial statistics of 1852, 1862 and 
1892 as well as the annual statistics and even the interna- 
tional statistics of 1873. 

A profound niodification has been made in the organiza- 
tion and the methods. That was the idea and the purpose 
of the authors of the laws of April 25, 1901, and August 27, 
1902. Without distorting the truth, the mention of these 
two laws seems to be properly included in the history of 
statistics in the nineteenth century. 

The law of April 25, 1901, founded in the Ministry of 
Agriculture : 

B. Office de renseignements agricoles. — ^It is the successor of 
the Bureau des Subsistances et de la Statistique agricole. But 
with duties notably enlarged and means infinitely strength- 

* The SoeiHi de StatMque de Paris has had the happy idea of pubUshing lately 
the text of this decree and of the report which precedes it. (See Journal de la 
SocUlS de Statistiqve de Paris, May, 1904, pp. 211 ft.) 


Its duties were defined with great clearness in an official 
note contained in the Bulletin Mensuel de V Office for January, 
1902 (pp. 1-7). 

"The Office," says this note, "is at once a department of 
information, of study and of popularization." Of the details 
which are given to us of its functions these are the parts 
which concern statistics: "Research, centralization and pub- 
lication of statistical information on agricultural products 
in France and abroad; — ^general and special reports on agri- 
cultural products and foodstuflEs; — centralization of fiscal 
and customs statistics relating to agricultural products; — 
centralization and compilation of divers periodic information 
on the agricultural situation in each of the dSpartements and 
abroad; — statistics of salaries and wages of agricultural 
laborers; — annual and periodic agricultural statistics; — 
cantonal conamissions and municipal sub-commissions of 
agricultural statistics; — graphic statistics; — statistical pub- 
lications of every nature, Bulletin of the Ministry of 
Agriculture, investigations {enquites), Annuaire of markets 
{f aires el marcMs)" 

And after these details the note adds: "The scope of 
agricultural statistics will be progressively enlarged, not 
only for France but for foreign countries. Until now, indeed, 
annual statistics furnished information only on a limited 
number of agricultural products, leaving out other food- 
stuffs which are not less important. The old reports relating 
to animals and their products dealt only with certain cate- 
gories and were not sufficiently detailed. The old statistics 
gave no indications with respect either to agricultural indus- 
tries or to agricultural associations or the numerous labor 
unions which have been created in France since 1884, or to 
the different mutual benefit organizations connected with 
these unions. Farmers, finally, possessed no information on 
the holding of public or private markets {f aires et marcMs). 
The new program is to fill in these omissions." 

The next question is by what means such a vast program 
is to be realized and especially how one shall set out to 


assemble, without too great a chance of error, all the elemen- 
tary data of agricultural statistics? 

The decree of August 27, 1902, undertook to answer this 
question. Its motives and objects are well expressed in the 
report which presented it for the signature of the President 
of the RepubUc and which can be read in the Bulletin Men- 
suel de VOffice des rens&ignements agricoles with the text it- 
self of the decree (August, 1902, pp. 1392-1405). We learn 
from this notably that the Minister of Agriculture had been 
struck by the inconvenient results of the co-existence of 
annual statistics compiled by his department and those 
compiled by the comitSs des ravitaillement of the Ministry 
of War. These statistics were too often and too perceptibly 

It created four different organs whose duty it was to co- 
operate, each according to its own rank and in its own man- 
ner, in estabhshing agricultural statistics. 

First, communal commissions of not less than five mem- 
bers nor more than seven under the presidency of the mayor; 
second, cantonal commissions composed of four members 
of the right and six to twelve members named by the prefect; 
third, under-prefects and special professors of agriculture; 
fourth, prefects and departmental professors of agriculture. 
And above these four organs two superior organs, whose 
mission it is, one in an executive capacity, the other in a 
consultant capacity, to direct from above the complete 
elaboration of agricultural statistics; the Office of which we 
have just spoken and the ComiU consultatif de Statistique 
agricole which is another creation of the law of August 27, 
1902, composed of forty members, twenty from the right, 
twenty nominated by the Minister of Agriculture, with a 
permanent commission of fifteen members. 

It will be enough for us to say that the collaboration of 
these divers organs is very minutely regulated by circulars 
or instructions to the prefects and the department professors 
under the dates August 28, September 18, October 28, 
November 13 and December 19, 1902, and to call attention 


to the precautions taken by Article 57 of the law to reassure 
the people by guaranteeing that the statistical investiga- 
tions shall never have fiscal consequences. 

We shall add only two remarks. 

We shall note in the first place the important position 
occupied in the organization of agricultural statistics by the 
professors of agriculture. That is an excellent element which 
was lacking in the application of the decree of 1852. And in 
the second place we shall mention one of the most original 
creations of the decree of 1902, the registre des Cultures which 
was to be kept in each commune. We shall give an idea of 
the capital r61e which this register is called upon to play, by 
quoting Article 2 of the law: "There is established in each 
commune a registre des Cultures which is to keep the index 
of the area under cultivation and that of the average yields 
of produce; this register is intended to serve as the basis of 
agricultural statistics." 

What sort of future is in store for this new organization.? 
It is too soon to say. It is more complicated and unwieldy 
than that of 1852. That, indeed, included only cantonal 
commissions. There are, however, reasons to hope that it 
will be more solid and more efficient. But it would be im- 
prudent, we believe, to go so far as to say that it is sure of 
complete success. It is enough, in order to have some doubts 
in this respect, to think that the number of collaborators 
required for the application of Article 5 of the law of 1902 
is at least 180,000 and may go as high as 252,000 for the 
36,000 communes of France; to whom must be added the 10 
to 14 members of the cantonal commissions, that is, for the 
2,850 cantons, 35,000 to 40,000 persons. This immense 
army of statisticians is imposing by virtue of its number. 
But is it not a httle disturbing from the point of view of 

But whatever happens, it is just to recognize that the 
laws of 1901 and 1902 bear witness to a great eflfort and great 
good will* to strengthen in France a branch of statistics that 

* The department of agriculture desired, in particular (see the Keport cited above. 


embraces in its researches the most important part of our 
national wealth. 

Le Conseil SupSrieur de Siatistique 

Partly foreseen at the beginning of the eighteenth century 
by the Abbe de Saint-Pierre, under the name of AcadSmie 
Politique, long demanded, in the course of the nineteenth 
century by the most authoritative statisticians, this Conseil 
was created by a law of February 19, 1885. It was, by the 
act that gave birth to it, and it remained, subordinate to the 
department of general statistics. It comprised, originally, 
41 members, 14 from the Parlement and learned bodies and 
27 delegated by the ministries. This number was increased 
to 62 by two laws, of July 24 and November 20, 1893, and to 
68 by a law of April 3, 1912; a ministerial order of January 
27, 1900, very happily inspired, gave it a permanent com- 
mittee of 20 members. 

Its functions arejpurely consultative. This is the enumera- 
tion of them given in articles of the decree: 

"It gives its opinion: 1st, on the choice of sources, on the 
methods, on the outlines, questionnaires and programs which 
shall be submitted to it by public departments, as well as on 
the different arrangements necessary to impressing upon 
oJ0Bcial publications a certain uniformity; 2d, on the compo- 
sition and editing of the Annuaire Statistique de la France, 
which is intended to present the resume of official statistics; 
3d, on the undertaking and publication of new statistics; 
4th, on maintaining relations between the departments of sta- 
tistical service in France and abroad; 5th, on the organization 
of the Bibliotheque de Statistique internationale which will be 
established at the Ministry of Commerce; 6th, on the 
pubUcity to be given to the work of the Conseil; 7th, on 
questions relating to information and to other general in- 
terests of statistics." 

p. 1394), to try to realize the wishes expressed in an interesting study on the 
"methods and results of agricultural statistics in the principal producing countries" 
presented by M. Levasseur to the Insiiiut International de Statistique (Session at 
Buda-Pesth, September, 1901). 


The report of the deliberations of the Conseil is published 
in the Bulletin du Conseil SupSrieur de Statistique. The 
collection of this Bulletin is as yet of very modest size. That 
is not the fault of the Conseil. The public authorities have 
not appealed as much as naight be desired to its devotion 
and competence. It is enough, however, to glance at the 
nunutes of its meetings to note the number and interest of 
the questions it has treated and to be convinced that one will 
find there, when one wishes, the elements of some of the 
necessary reforms which have still to be made in French sta- 

Le Bureau de Statistique de la Ville de Paris 

Statistical pubHcations of the city of Paris and even pub- 
Ucations of considerable importance are anterior to the crea- 
tion of a special department of mimicipal statistics. Thus, 
without going back to Colbert and M. Grimbarel, com- 
missaire au Chdtelet, who published, in 1771, two folio vol- 
umes under the title I'Etat Civil de Paris, the remarkable 
work contained in the six volumes of Recherches Statistiques, 
pubUshed from 1821 to 1860, does not seem, whatever 
Levasseur may say, to have been prepared by a Bureau de 

The initiative for the creation of a Bureau Central de 
Statistique was taken by the Municipal Conseil of Paris, in a 
vote of July 26, 1877, and it was realized by an order of 
the Prefect of the Seine, M. Herold, December 24, 1879, 
which instituted: first, a bureau of municipal statistics and, 
besides that, second, a commission of municipal statistics 
playing the same part with reference to the bureau as that 
played by the Conseil Supirieur de Statistique with reference 
to the Service de la Statistique giniral de la France. 

The task assigned to this new organ of statistics was 
double: first, to centralize statistical information assembled 
by the different municipal departments, finance, highways, 

*See the volume of the SBime anniversaire de la SociMi de Statistique de Pari*, 
1886, pp. 200 and 202. 


water, police, and oversee their publication; second, to elab- 
orate the statistical information which concerns the actes 
de l'6tat-civil, paying special attention to documents which 
are of interest from the point of view of public hygiene and 

One may say, without exaggeration, that this task has 
been fulfilled in a superior manner for thirty five years by 
Dr. A. BCTtillon who was the organizer of the Bureau, and 
by his son who succeeded him in 1883, Dr. Jacques Bertillon. 
The collection of the Annuaire Statistique de la ville de Paris, 
the first volume of which bears on the year 1880, is one of 
those most honorable to contemporaneous French statistics. 

Part II. Actual Organization of Statistics 

All the great departments of public service in France 
cooperate today, under very different forms, in the elabora- 
tion and publication of official statistics. They are each 
connected with one of the ministries. We must, then, make 
our divisions according to the ministries in order to enumer- 
ate and describe our departments of pubUc service from the 
point of view of statistics. 

But our twelve ministries, in turn, may from this point 
of view be divided into three distinct groups if we wish to 
take account of the nature of the facts which they have to 

First. Group of ministries for which statistics have a 
primarily economic character : 

a. Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (PrSvoyance). 

b. Ministry of Agriculture. 

c. Ministry of Finance. 

d. Ministry of Public Works. 

e. Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Posts and Tele- 


f. Ministry of Colonies. 

g. Ministry of Interior. 

h. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 


Second. Group of ministries for which statistics have a 
primarily moral character: 

a. Ministry of Public Instruction and Fine Arts. 

b. Ministry of Justice and Penal Institutions {service 
fSnitentiare) . 

Third. Group of ministries of a military character, which 

have as their principal mission national defense; 

a. Ministry of War. 

b. Ministry of Navy. 

We shall pass them in review in the preceding order of 

First Group 

First. Ministere du Travail et de la Privoyance Sociale. — 
It is the subordination of the Statistique gSnSral de la France 
to this ministry which gives it, in spite of the very recent 
date of its creation (law of October 26, 1906), exceptional 
importance in the domain of statistics. 

The division of general statistics has been, since the law of 
November 1, 1910, an autonomous department in the sense 
that it is placed under the direct authority of the Minister 
of Labor. 

Under the supreme direction of a director and an under- 
director the department of la Statistique GSnSrale is divided 
into six distinct sections.* 

I. The Section of compilations and calculations whose 
activity is principally concerned with the bulletins, schedules 
and memoranda (borderaux) of the quinquennial census and 
with the lists {fiches) of VMat-dvil. The generalization of 
the fiches for the enumeration of the actes d'Hat-dvil dates 
from 1907. 

II. The section of demographic statistics. 

III. The section of industrial statistics. 

IV. The section of economic statistics. 
V. The section of social statistics. 

VI. The section of the Bibliotheque. 

*We aie summing up here long and interesting details given by the service de la 
i5<a<u%i<e 9^nJra2e itself in the pamphlet HixJongue e< 7rai>aii2 . . . pp. 23-45. 



The statistical activity of the service de la Statistique 
gSnSrcde manifests itself in two ways: 

First, by works of a general bearing which fully justify 
its title; 

Second, by special works dealing with some limited statis- 
tical subject. 

A. Works of a General Nature 

These works are of two kinds: compilations and publica- 

a. Compilations. — Le service de la Statistique gSnSrale does not 
confine itself to compiling the enumerations which are made 
under its direction. It can also compile enumerations made 
by other public departments. This generalization of func- 
tion was instigated by a vote passed in 1900 by the Conseil 
SupSrieur de Statistique of which this is the text: "that the 
central office created for the compilation of the quinquennial 
census be put at the disposal of the public administrations 
whenever they shall judge it opportune to have recourse 
to it. " Although renewed in 1903, this vote has not so far 
been often applied. The examples which one can cite are 
very encouraging but they are all too rare. Certainly 
among the enimierations made by the various departments of 
public service, there are some, such as those in which the 
facts enumerated are drawn from the registers kept by the 
departments, that could not well be compiled by the service 
de la Statistique ginSrale. But it might be entrusted with 
the compilation in all cases where use is to be made of bulle- 
tins and fiches. 

h. Publications. — ^The publications of a general nature 
are two in number, one annual, the other quarterly. 

First. The annual, which is the older (it goes back to 
1878), and by far the more important, is I'Annuaire Statistique 
de la France. 

An Annuaire de Statistique is the methodical yearly group- 
ing or resume of all statistical documents emanating from 
the various departments of public service of a country and 


bearing, as far as possible, on the facts of a given year, on 
those of the year nearest to the date of publication . 

Such is the elementary idea of VAnnuaire Statistique . It 
is the same in all countries, and they constitute the large 
majority, in which this kind of publication exists. 

The habit has spread, for some time, of adding to the 
figures for the year for^which the Annuaire is made, first, 
those of a more or less extended period which are furnished 
by the old statistics of the country; second, those furnished 
by foreign statistics which seem to be comparable to the 
first. The Annuaire has thus become a document of national 
and of international statistics, and thereby its twofold value, 
at once practical and scientific, has been greatly increased. 

The value of an annuaire depends on the quality of the 
classifications which it applies to an enormous mass of 
social facts that are subject to numerical observation, on 
the quantity of figures or tables of figures which it contains, 
on the clarity of their arrangement, on the ease with which 
it can be handled. Without attaining perfection (probably 
nobody will ever attain it) the service de la Statistique gSnSr- 
ale de la France, guided and sustained by the Conseil SupS- 
rieure de Statistique, can take credit for having given us one 
of the best, most complete, most instructive Annuaires 
which one can consult. 

These are the grand divisions of the Annuaire, forming 
the thirty third volume of the collection, which deals with 
the year 1913 and appeared in 1914. 
I. Annual tables (338 pp.) . 
Part I. Climatology. 

Part II. Territory and population — State of pop- 
ulation {Etat des personnes). 
Part III. Production and economic movement. 
Part IV. Revenues and consumption. 
Part V. Government and administration. 
Part VI. Colonies and protectorates. 
II. Retrospective tables (155 pp.). 
III. Information concerning foreign countries (70 pp.). 


In the six parts of the annual tables, as in the retrospective 
tables and in the international statistics, the source of all the 
figures is always carefully indicated. 

Second. The second publication of a general nature is, 
since October, 1911, the Bulletin de la Statistique ginSrale de 
la France (large octavo of 112 pages per number). 

Like the Annuaire, the Bulletin deals with the total col- 
lection of social facts observed by statistics in France and 
abroad. But its object is to publish the figures almost 
immediately upon their appearance and thus to put them at 
the disposal of the public much more rapidly than is possible 
in the case of the Annuaire. 

And it does not confine itself to giving figures. It gives 


a. Returns which provide information about the most 
important statistical work in France and abroad. 

b. Resume of laws and orders which have statistical in- 

c. Special and original studies in which statistical data 
are handled with individual authority. 

B. Special Works on Limited Topics 

Here one can distinguish three varieties of work : 

a. The organization and direction of enumerations. 

b. Their compilation. 

c. The publication of the results. 

a. The quinquennial enumeration of the French popula- 
tion is the chief work of the service de la Statistique gSnirale 
de la France. Among the other enumerations which it 
organizes and directs we may mention: the census of officials 
(fonctionnaires) undertaken in 1905 in accordance with a 
vote of the Conseil SupSrieur de Statistique; that of wages and 
the cost of living at the present time and during preceding 
periods; that of motive powers (forces matrices) in 1906. 

b. Compilation, properly speaking, presupposes an enum- 
eration in which the facts are counted by means of schedules 
or fiches applying to each one of them, as is done today for 
the general census and for that of the actes de I'itat-dvil. 


It consists of bringing together all statistical operations 
which allow the drawing of results from the enumerations. 
These operations are notation, classification, mechanical 
counting of the schedules and verification of the count. 

c. Publication of results. It is the quinquennial census 
of the population which supplies the material for the most 
important publications of the service de la Statistique gSnSrale 
de la France. They habitually bear the title: RSsultats 
Statistiques du recensement ghtSral de la population. 

Their extent varies greatly. The results of the enumera- 
tion of 1856 were contained in a volume of 184 pages; those 
of the enumeration of 1891 in two volumes of 814 and 349 
pages. Those of the enumeration of 1896 filled four volumes 
amounting to 2,751 pages. Finally, the results of the 
enumeration of 1901 filled four volumes amounting to S,816 
pages. These differences in extent are explained by differ- 
ences in content. Indeed it is one of the peculiarities of 
these publications that their content, since 1901, has changed 
every five years. When the census takes place in a year 
whose date ends in 1, the figures relating to the kat-dvil of 
individuals are given in greater detail. When it takes place 
in a year whose final figure is 6, preference is given to details 
on industries and occupations. 

Moreover, since 1891, there has almost always been an- 
nexed to the general census of population a census limited to 
some particular object, the inquiry proper to this object 
being especially facilitated by the operations of the general 
enumeration. Thus in 1891 a detailed enumeration was 
made of strangers living in France. In 1901 there was taken 
a special census of motive powers, habitations, families, 
blind and deaf-mutes.* The census of families and habita- 
tions was taken again in 1906. 

While the census of population has always been quinquen- 
nial, that of the axles de Stat-civU has for a long time been 

*It is fitting to call attention to F Album graphique in which the service de la Statis- 
tiqye girUrale illustrated the census of 1901. This album, published in 1907, con- 
tains no less than 273 plates. 


annual, and an annual publication made known the results 
of it. 

Let us recall again, for it was a great innovation which 
cannot be too strongly insisted on, that since 1907 local ad- 
ministrations have been relieved of all statistical work 
which touches on the actes de I'Stai-dvil. Their task is 
limited to making a record of each of these actes on a fiche 
and sending every six months the collection of fiches to the 
service de la Statistique gSnSrale de la France. It was also 
in 1907 that it was decided to pubUsh, every five years only, 
the detailed results of the compilation of these fiches. A 
summary table of the number of births, marriages and deaths 
is inserted in the Journal Offidel every six months. 

For the complete detail of the publications of the service 
de la Statistique gSnSrale de la France, we shall take the liberty 
of referring to the pamphlet {Historique et travaux), 
which we have already cited, and to the lists which are to be 
found on the back of each of the publications which have ap- 

Travaux Statistiques dus aux services ginhaux du Ministere 
du Travail. — ^The mere mention of them will be enough to 
show that the service de la Statistique gSnSrale de la France 
does not absorb all the statistical activities of the Ministry 
of Labor. 

First. Statistics relating to labor and the conditions of 
the workers, to cooperative societies, are prepared by the 
first bureau of the department of labor. It publishes the 
Bulletin du Ministere du Travail (formerly the Bulletin de 
I' Office du Travail). 

Second. The annual statistics of strikes have been pub- 
lished since 1891 by the third bureau of this same depart- 

Third. The statistics of industrial accidents are published 
by the first bureau of the department of Insurance and Social 

*We may note particularly: First, La Statistique internOtioncde du mouvement 
de la Population, 1907 (-8°, 880 pp.). published at the request of the Institul 
Jnlemational de Statistique; second, the second volume of this publication dealing 
with the years 1901-1910, which appeared m 1913 (I Vol. -8°, 298 pp.). 


Welfare (PrSvoyance) in the form of a report inserted in the 
Journal Officiel. 

Fourth. The statistics of the operations of the ordinary 
Savings Banks and of the National Savings Bank are pre- 
pared by the second bureau of this same department. 

Fifth. The statistics of Mutual Benefit Societies are 
prepared by the second bureau of the department of In- 
surance {MutualiU). 

Sixth. The first bureau of the division of pensions for 
workmen and peasants has the task of determining, in an 
annual report to the President of the Republic, the statistics 
of these pensions. 

Seventh. The division of the Inspection of Labor (second 
bureau of the department of labor) publishes the statistics of 
establishments subject to inspection. 

Ministry of Agriculture 

In the value of the capital invested, in the number of per- 
sons occupied, in the annual revenues produced, agriculture 
is incontestably the master industry of our national economy. 
Without falling into physiocratic exaggerations one can say 
that the tillable soil is the great wealth of France. 

This explains the extreme importance of agricultural 
statistics and the immense interest which attaches to all 
measures directed to strengthening its organization and 
giving to its figures more solid guaranties of accuracy. 
On the day when these statistics shall be firmly established, 
we shall be able to say that a great step has been taken 
toward the census and evaluation of the wealth of France. 

Statistics are established in the Ministry of Agriculture: 

I, by special departments {services) with statistics as their 
principal function: 

II, by the general departments of the ministry. 

Special Departments. — ^These departments of service are: 

a. rOffice de renseignements agricoles which is the essential 

part of the actual organization and forms the third bureau of 

the Direction de V enseignement et des services agricoles of the 

Ministry of Agriculture. 


b. The commissions and oflSicials appointed under the law 
of August 27, 1902, to collect for the whole area of the coun- 
try the elementary data which are to be put to use by the 

The short historical explanation which we have made 
above has led us to speak of these two branches of service, 
of their mechanism and duties. 

We shall content ourselves with citing here the statistical 
publications in which their work is summed up. 

There are two periodic publications and some non- 
periodic publications: 

First. The Bulletin Mensuel de I'Office de renseignements 
agricoles constitutes every year two volumes of 1,200 pages 
each, in which statistics hold a principal place. It dates 
from January 1, 1902. 

Second. The Statistique agricole annuelle. Here in one 
octavo volume of about 300 pages, since 1902, is the fesseintial 
statistical document. We have before us the volume relat- 
ing to the year 1914, published, in spite of the war, in the 
course of 1916. These are the principal divisions of it: 

a. Area of the different parts of the territory of France, 
b. Table of crops for the year 1914. c. Farm animals; on 
December 31, 1914; for all France during the ten years past, 
d. Industries for converting farm products, e. Imports 
and exports of materials and products of interest to agri- 
culture in 1912, 1913 and 1914. f . The supply of provisions 
in Paris. 

These six divisions form the first part of the volume (196 
pp.). They are followed by a second part devoted to retro- 
spective tables (127 pages), going back to the beginning of 
the nineteenth century and of great interest. We shall cite 
notably: the table of the prices of corn in France from 1801 
to 1914, distinguishing the calendar year and the agricul- 
tural year (August 1, July 31) ; the table of the average price 
per kilogram of bread in Paris from 1801 to 1914; the aver- 
age price per kilogram of meat (net weight) at the Villette 
(cattle market), by kind and by quality, from 1814 to 1914, 


The non-periodic publications acquaint us with the re- 
sults of special investigations undertaken by the Office des 
renseignements. The principal ones, those of the last years, 
bear the following titles. 

1. Inquiry into the dairy industry in France and abroad. 

2. Short account of the trade in agricultural products 
(Vol. I, vegetable products; Vol. II, animal products). 

3. Cultivation, production and trade of corn in the world. 

4. The small rural property (monographic inquiries, 

5. Inquiry concerning agricultural wages. 

An amount of work which surely deserves at times certain 
criticisms, but which deserves still more the praises of all 
those who wish to see the use of statistics develop and 

Statistics Compiled by the General Departments of Service 
of the Ministry of Agriculture. — ^We can cite six examples and 
we should refrain from saying that there are not more. 

1. The statistics of forestry are compiled by the first 
section of the second bureau of the Direction gSnSrale des 
Eaux et Forits. It is a considerable work, generally well 
done. It has been undertaken twice, at an interval of 
thirty years, in 1878 and in 1908. The results in 1878 filled 
two small quarto volumes, those of 1908 filled two folio 
volumes. It is true that the latter contain a superb col- 
lection of forestry charts of 86 dSpartements of France. 

2. Hydraulic statistics, with charts,, plans and graphics, 
have been drawn up with much care, for several years, by 
the department of technical hydraulic studies which is also 
subordinate to the Direction gSnSrale des Eaux et Forets. 

3. The statistics of the stud {de la monte) of the national 
stallions and the licensed stallions are prepared by the Direc- 
tion des Haras (breeding studs). 

"The great water-powers of France have been, for fifteen years, owing to the 
enlightened efforts of the Direction de I'hydravlique and of the Direction gSnirale des 
Eaux et Forets, the subject of methodical inquiries the statistical results of which 
already fill ten beautiful octavo volumes — ^too little known. 


4. The Direction des services sanitaires et scientifiques et 
de la repression des fraudes publishes annual statistics on its 
work and its results. 

5. Le Service du Credit, de la CoopSration et de la Mutuality 
agricoles publishes the statistics of institutions of agricultural 
credit in France and abroad. 

6. The same service compiles the statistics of CoopSratives 
and of granges (syndicats agricoles). 

Ministry of Finance 

Let us recall that in this ministry, where everything is 
done and measured by figures, statistics are inherent in the 
functioning of all departments. And here, happily, where 
most often statistics make themselves, they permit of being 
easily elaborated, with guaranties of accuracy almost mathe- 

For the Bureau de Staiistique et de Ugislation comparie, 
founded by Leon Say in 1876, we refer to the details given 
above (see p. 296). 

We shall mention here only the most important of the 
branches which make statistics an accessory to their prin- 
cipal function. 

First. The Direction gSnSrale de la ComptabilitS puhlique 
deserves without doubt to be placed in the fij-st rank. The 
first drafts of the budget, the accounts of receipts and the 
Compte gSnSrale de V administration des Finances which it is 
its duty to prepare and publish every year are in fact docu- 
ments of financial statistics. The most extensive and by 
far the most instructive is the Compte gSnSrale. Its publica- 
tion was ordered by the law of 19 Nivose an IX (January 9, 
1800). The first copy deals with the year 1800. Its point 
in time adds singularly to its value. It is remarkable, 
moreover, that not all the statistical tables which one finds 
there were elaborated by the Direction gSnSrale de la Compt- 
abilitS. Some, such as the tables relating to the pubUc 
debt in all its forms, were prepared by the Direction de la 
dette inscrite. 


Second. The five Directions gSnirales, called also RSgies, 
the Directions gSnSrales des Contributions directes, des Con- 
tributions indiredes, de V Enregistrement et des Domaines, des 
Douanes et des Manufactures de I'Etat, are all great producers 
of statistics. Their statistical works, as numerous and 
varied as their duties, are to be counted among the richest 
contributions to the economic statistics of France. The 
results of these works, whether periodic or not, are generally 
published in the Bulletin de Statistique et de Legislation com- 
parSe. They are also, however, sometimes set forth in 
special publications. The same is the case with the results of 
the great inquiries into developed real estate and undeveloped 
real estate undertaken by the Direction ginSrale des Contribu- 
tions directes. It is above all the case with customs statistics 
{la Statistique douaniere). 

The documents of la Statistique douaniere are of such 
dimensions that they can hardly be more than summarized 
in the Bulletin de Statistique et de Legislation comparSe. 
Since they were originated they have always taken the form 
of distinct publications. It is fitting to call especial atten- 
tion to them here. 

La Statistique douaniere, regularly established, goes back, 
as we have seen, to the year 1716. Its regular publication 
came much later. It is true that Roland under the Conven- 
tion (September 21, 1792-October 25, 1795— Tr.) and 
Chaptal under the Directoire (October 26, 1795-November 
9, 1799 — Tr.) made extensive use of it in the reports stuffed 
with figures which they presented on the state of the foreign 
commerce of France. But the tables from which these 
figures were extracted remained buried in the files of the 
Bureau des archives du Commerce. Their first annual pub- 
lication dates from 1823. The task of bringing them to 
light was entrusted to the Direction g6n6rale des Douanes. 
At the present time a special bureau, the third of the first 
division of the Direction gSnirale has the duty of preparing 
the statistics of commerce and navigation. 

The published documents have for a long time been three 


in number: first, the Tableau ginSral du Commerce et de la 
Navigation, annual since 1823. This document was com- 
prised in a volume of 70 to 80 pages originally; today it 
fills two folio volumes; second, the Tableau gSniral du Com- 
merce et de la Navigation, decennial beginning with the year 
1827. This remarkable and precious publication dealing 
with a period of ten years, 1827-1836, 1837-1846, etc., had 
appeared for the seventh time, 1887-1896, when an ill-advised 
Minister of Finance decided for reasons of economy to sup- 
press it. Thus we have been deprived of the decennial Tab- 
leauioTthe years 1897-1906 and 1907-1916. It is permissible 
to express the wish that this unfortunate measure may some 
day be reversed; third, Documents Statistiques sur le Com- 
merce de la France, a monthly bulletin of about two hundred 
pages, going back to 1862 and containing, every month, the 
results of commerce and navigation for the months that 
have gone by in the current year and for the same months 
of the two preceding years. What gives it special value is 
that it informs the public of facts which are hardly two 
months old. 

Besides the distinct statistical publications of the depart- 
ment of customs we ought to note also : 

First. The Tableau gSnSral des PropriStSs de I'Etat the 
making of which was ordered by the law of finance of 
December 22, 1873, and which appeared December 31, 1875, 
in two folio volumes of about one thousand pages each. In 
this tableau it is a question only of realties assigned or not 
assigned to some department of public service. But their 
number is very great and their value enormous. The num- 
ber in 1875 amounted to 26,997 and the value to 3,598,000,- 
000 francs. The law of 1873 prescribed the establishment 
and the pubUcation of annual Tableaux supplimentaires 
intended to keep the first tableau up to date. This law was 
observed for four years. We possess four volumes of 
Tableaux suppUmentaires. But from 1879 on it fell into 
desuetude. The elements of the great statistics of real 
estate founded in 1873 are not lost. They could be found 


again in the dossiers of the department. It would be enough 
to wish to use them. 

Second. A Bulletin (annuel) de Statistique et de Legisla- 
tion comparSe. It dates from 1897. It contains exclusively 
all the statistical documents ;which the department of regis- 
tration of property publishes in the course of a year through 
the medium of the Bulletin (mensuel) de Statistique et de 
Legislation comparSe of the Ministry of Finance. It is not, 
as one might imagine, a second useless edition of documents 
already known. This second edition has the great advan- 
tage of grouping in a single convenient volume data scat- 
tered through twelve monthly sections and of classifying 
them in a rational order which allows the most important 
to be thrown into relief. Now, some of the annual statistics 
of the department of registration (of property), those not- 
ably which apply to the production of taxes, bymaking known 
the nature and number of transactions subject to tax as well 
as the value of the property which the transactions have 
affected, offer from various points of view, the juridic as well 
as the economic, considerable interest.* 

In publishing this annual Bulletin the department of 
registration has, moreover, limited itself to following 
the excellent example which la Direction g6n6rale des Con- 
tributions had given it, since 1890, by publishing its annual 
volume entitled: Renseignements\ Statistiques relatifs aux 
contributions diredes et aux taxes assimiUes. 

Third. The Direction des Monnaies et MSdaiUes began 
to publish in 1896 an annual report on the various opera- 
tions of the administration and on the statistics of precious 
metals in the world. The origins of this document deserve 
to be recalled for twofold reasons. 

Its publication had been asked of France (and France 
had promised it) by article 11 of the convention concluded 

*We take the liberty of citing in this connection the report which we presented 
at the meeting of the Institut International de Statigtique held at Berlin in 1903, on 
the idle and the applications of financial statistics. 

t Unlike the Direction gSnirale des Douanes, the Directions g^^ales des Contribu- 
tions diredes and of V enregistremeni have no special bureau of statistics. 


November 6 between France, Belgium, Italy and Switzer- 
land {union Latine). As the fulfilment of the promise was 
delayed, it was insistently demanded by the monetary Con- 
ference of October, 1893, and then by the Institut Inter- 
national de Statistique at its meeting in Berne, in September, 

The program of this report was outlined by Alfred de 
Foville, who became Directeur des Monnaies in 1896, with 
the authority which belonged to that master of French 
statistics and especially of financial and monetary statistics. 
The first four reports, those of the years 1896, 1897, 1898 
and 1899, were prepared by him and he presented them 
himself at the session of the Institut International de Sta- 
tistique held at Christiania in September, 1899. It is thanks 
to him, undoubtedly, and thanks to his method, carefully 
retained by his successors, that this document is considered 
by the scholars of the entire world as one of the best of the 

Ministry of Public Works 

At the present time one finds no more traces of a central 
department of statistics radiating to the activities of the 
entire ministry. Not that statistics are not always much 
respected there, but the departments which prepare them 
are scattered and merged in the three great technical 
branches (directions) into which the ministry is divided. 
One is justified in regretting this both from the point of view 
of science and from that of administration. 

Roads, Navigation, Railways and Mines, these are the 
four several objects of statistics in the Ministry of Public 

First. Statistics of National Roads are prepared by the 
second bureau of the subdivision (Sous-direction) of Roads 
and Navigation. The subject matter is twofold. There 
are the roads themselves, their diflFerent categories, the cost 
of maintenance, their length in each dSpartement. And there 
is the amount of traflSc on the roads. The statistics of 


traffic (circulation) on the roads are by far the most difficult 
to determine. They require a special method of counting 
the organization of which is rather delicate and the results 
of which can be only approximate. In 1888 the count, 
taken in 4,734 posts of observation, was made 28 times dur- 
ing an entire day, the days being distributed equally by 
seasons and by week. 

The publication of the results of this enumeration is not 

Second. The Statistics of Internal Navigation are pre- 
pared by the fourth bureau of the Sous-direction des routes. 

Like those of the roads, they have a double object: the 
water-ways themselves; the amount of traffic. 

Up to 1880 the traffic on navigable waters was enumer- 
ated by the Direction gSnSrale des Contributions indirectes of 
the Ministry of Finance whose statistical role here was indi- 
cated and facilitated by the collection of the navigation 
taxes. But when these taxes were suppressed by the law of 
February 19, 1880, the statistics of the traffic on navigable 
waters naturally reverted to the Ministry of Public Works, 
where their organization, also rather delicate, was regulated 
by a decree of November 17, 1880. 

The results of the statistics of internal navigation are 
consigned to an annual publication. 

Third. Statistics of Railways belong to the Direction of 
railways. Two different bureaus collaborate in them: the 
second bureau of the Sous-direction des concessions de che- 
mins de fer, and the first bureau of the Sous-direction de 
V exploitation. This latter has special charge of the statis- 
tics of tariffs. 

Here the publications are annual. 

Fourth. Statistics of Mineral Industry and of Steam Ma- 
chinery in France and Algeria are compiled by the second 
bureau of the Direction of mines and are published annu- 
ally. They go back to the year 1833. They were estab- 
lished in obedience to the Financial Act of April 23, 1833, 
and to a circular of August 31 of the same year. The sta- 


tistics of "sources minSrales," so numerous in France, were 
not originally included; they have been added for a number 
of years, at the same time being treated in certain special 
non-periodic publications. 

The statistical field of the Direction of mines has been 
enlarged during the last few years by being extended to 
include the new facts brought into being by the great devel- 
opment of the use of electrical power. This particular 
branch of statistics is entrusted to the third bureau of the 
Direction of mines. 

Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Posts and Telegraphs 

Since the statistics of the Foreign Trade of France are 
compiled by the Direction gSnSrale des douanes, which is 
subordinate to the Ministry of Finance, only the statistics 
of Domestic Trade might concern the Ministry of Commerce. 
But these statistics do not exist, and such are the immensity 
and complexity of the operations of domestic commerce 
that one can hardly foresee how they ever can exist, at least 
so long as society lives under the regime of freedom of trade 
filberts du travail). 

So the r6le of the Ministry of Commerce in the matter 
of commercial statistics is very limited. It is confined 
according to the official formula which fixes the duties of 
the second bureau of the Direction des Affaires Commerdales 
et Industrielles to: "the centralization and compilation of 
the customs statistics of France and of foreign countries 
and to the annual publication of resultant documents deal- 
ing with a period of ten years : First, a comparative state- 
ment of the commercial situation in France; second, the 
movement of Commerce and Navigation of the principal 
foreign countries." 

These documents are published in the Annales du Com- 
merce extSrieur, and in the Moniteur Officiel du Commerce. 

Among them we shall call attention to the two following 
documents which have appeared in special pamphlets : 

First. Un siecle de Commerce entre la France et le Roy- 



aume-Uni. 1 Vol., 138 pp. of tables illustrated by graphics, 

Second. Commerce entre la France et I'ltalie 1861-1910. 
1 Vol., 103 pp. tables and graphics, 1910. 

The department of Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones 
which is subordinate at the present time (1914) to the Min- 
istry of Commerce prepares a certain number of statistical 
documents : First, on the postal delivery service (first bureau 
of the Direction de l' exploitation postale); second, on tele- 
graphic messages {transmissions) (first bureau of the Direc- 
tion de V exploitation tSlSgraphique) ; third, on the telephone 
service, its operation and its irregularities (first bureau of 
the Direction de V exploitation tSUphonique); fourth, on the 
operations of the National Savings Bank, deposits, pay- 
ments, and on the depositors, according to age, sex and 

A small number of these documents are the subject mat- 
ter of special publications. Most of them are published in 
the Annuaire Statistique de la France. 

Ministry of Colonies 

This ministry is fortunate in having a central depart- 
ment of statistics. It is situated in the Colonial OflBce. 
This office was established and organized by a law of March 
14, 1899, by a law of February 18, 1904, and by a law of 
March 16, 1910. It is divided into three sections. It is 
the second which has the task of compiling all Colonial 
statistics with the many subjects which are assigned, to 
them: commerce, navigation, agriculture, finance, popula- 
tion, mines, railways, public health, public instruction, 

The statistical publications emanating from this depart- 
ment are very numerous and also very diverse. The num- 
ber of distinct publications dealing with all our colonies is 
as great as the number of subjects treated. In the last few 
years a great eflfort has been made to improve the financial 
statistics. One can see the proof of this by running through. 


among other volumes, the one entitled: "Statistique des 
Finances des Colonies frangaises pour les annies 1898-1907 
which appeared in 1908. 

But to these statistical documents put forth by the cen- 
tral department of the Colonial Office must be added the 
very important collection of statistics drawn up by the col- 
onies themselves. One might say that for several years a 
beneficent rivalry between our colonies had been established 
in this way. The latest colonies seem determined to equal 
or even surpass the oldest. French West Africa and Equa- 
torial Africa have already Annuaires Statistiques of a some- 
what voluminous format but on the whole very well done. 

Algeria has published for a long time numerous statistical 
documents generally very complete and very intelligently 
composed. The values of the figures which are found there 
are no doubt somewhat unequal. The figures of financial 
statistics and of customs statistics are as good as those of 
France. This is not true of economic statistics. But we 
may hope that the progress made in France will be realized 
also in Algeria. 

The two following documents, issued by the general gov- 
ernment, ought especially to be noted : 

First, Le Commerce AlgSrien, 2 large volumes in 8vo., 1906. 

Second, EnquMe sur les risultats de la colonisation offidelle 
de 1871 a 1895, 1906, 2 quarto volumes, the first filled with 
tables of figures, charts and diagrams, the second filled with 
monographic reports dealing with all the centers of colo- 
nization, in which the figures are the principal element. 

We may mention, finally, the annual reports of our citi- 
zens in the protectorate countries, for Tunis during the last 
thirty five years, and for Morocco for hardly two years; 
these reports are for the most part made up of statistical 

Ministry of Interior 

First, a. La Situation Financiere des dSpartements; b. 
La Situation Financiere des communes. 


These two annual statistical documents are prepared by 
the first and second bureaux of the Direction de I' Adminis- 
tration dSpartmentale et communale . 

How shall one explain the fact that documents so sharply 
characterized are not issued by the Ministry of Finance? 
The reason is very simple. The Ministry of Interior is 
much better qualified and equipped to compile the finan- 
cial statistics of dSpartements and communes because it is, 
as it were, the tutor of these two sorts of collectivities and 
because all the financial transactions which they perform 
pass under its eyes. 

Second. La Direction de I' Assistance et de I'Hygiene pub- 
lique prepares four kinds of statistical documents: 

a. The statistics of the youngest children cared for under 
the law of December 23, 1874. 

b. The statistics of children receiving public aid and espe- 
cially of their mortality. 

c. The sanitary statistics of France. 

d. The statistics of the personnel of the medical profession 
and pharmacists. 

This last is quinquennial. 

Sanitary statistics form the subject-matter of two pub- 
lications, one monthly, the other annual. 

Third. La Direction de la Suret6 (second bureau) pub- 
lishes the statistics of breeders of carrier pigeons. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

This ministry, it seems, prepares few statistics, and those 
that it prepares and publishes from time to time are rather 

Thus the idea came to it, one day, of enumerating the 
French people living abroad. The results of this enumera- 
tion were published in the Journal Officiel of September 25, 
1902. But Alfred de Foville with as much verve as author- 
ity pointed out grave errors in the method employed and 
in the application of it. 


Ministry of Public Instruction 

Of the three great branches into which the departments 
of the Ministry of Public Instruction are divided, Direction 
de I'Enseignement Supirieur,' Direction de I'Enseignement Sec- 
ondaire. Direction de I'Enseignement Primaire, only the third 
publishes somewhat regularly, since 18S1, except for an in- 
terruption of sixteen years, from 1848 to 1864, the statistics 
called de I'Enseignement Primaire, which embrace at once 
the personnel (teachers and pupils), buildings, expenses. 

In March, 1876, a Commission de Statistique de I'Enseigne- 
ment Primaire, of which Levasseur was chairman for thirty 
five years, was created to oversee and direct this publica- 
tion which from the^first has been quinquennial. 

The other two Directions also compile very good statistics, 
but they publish them only at rare intervals. One could 
find, if occasion demanded, the elements all prepared of 
statistical documents of the first rank. 

Ministry of Justice 

First. We shall -find in this ministry the essential ele- 
ment of good statistical organization, that is to say, a central 
and specialized department. It is the bureau of statistics^ 
attached (third bureau) to the Direction des affaires Crimi- 
nelles et des graces, but including in its fimctions all judiciary 
statistics, civil, commercial, criminal, for Algeria as well as 
for France. 

We have said enough on this subject in the history of 
Statistics in the nineteenth century and need not return to 
it here. 

Second. L' Administration pinitentiaire, after having been 
for a long time under the Ministry of Interior, is today a 
department of the Ministry of Justice. That is its true 
place. It consists of a Direction comprising three bureaus. 
It is the first that has the task of preparing annually the 
Statistique PSnitentiaire, the publication of which goes back 
to 1852. 


Ministry of War 

A moment's reflection is enough to discover; in this min- 
istry a great department of public service in which there is 
abundant material for rich and interesting statistics. 

These are the chief statistical documents which it issues: 

First. The Compte-rendu annuel des opSrations du recrute- 
merit (second bureau of the Direction de Vlnfanterie). 

Second. Compte-rendu statistique annuel of the work of 
the Conseils de guerre et de rhision (second bureau of the 
Direction du contentieux et de la Justice militaire). 

Third. Statistique midicale de VarmSe (second bureau of 
the Direction du service de SantS). This document, the pub- 
lication of which dates back to the law of January 22, 1851, 
is today one of the most complete and the most remarkable 
perhaps in all French statistics. The figures and graphics 
distributed through it are profuse and clear. The method 
used in preparing it has been modified often since 1851. 
It has just been changed and, this time, it seems, finally 
fixed, by an order of June 13, 1913. 

Fourth. La Direction du Controle compiles annually the 
Statistique des cours commerciaux et des prix paySs by the 
military administration and by other public departments. 
It is to be feared that this document is neither so well known 
nor so much used as it ought to be. 

Fifth. Le Service des fonds et des comptes gSnSraux pre- 
pares annually a statistical document intended for the Parle- 
ment and making known the "situation of the material of 
the war reserve." 

Ministry of Navy 

First. La Statistique de la Justice militaire pour VarmSe 
de mer has been compiled and published every three years, 
since January 1, 1859, by the Direction militaire des services 
de la Flotte. 

Second. La Statistique MSdicale de la Marine is prepared 
by the administrative bureau of the service central de santS. 

Third. L'Office des transports maritimes, connected with 


the Sous-Secretariat d'Etat de la Marine Marchande, pub- 
lishes : 

a. la Statistique des naufrages et accidents de mer; 

b. la Statistique Sanitaire de la marine marchande. 
Fourth. L'Office des Peches has pubUshed since 1866 the 

Statistique des pSches maritimes et des Hablissements de piches. 

Part III. Desirable and Possible Pbogbess in the 
Statistics of France 

In the first two parts of this work, apropos the organiza- 
tion, past and present, of French statistics, we have tried 
to assemble the exact facts, hoping thus to make a useful 
contribution to a study of a truly scientific character. Apro- 
pos the future organizatioli of French statistics, where it is 
a question of criticizing the existing institutions and the 
methods employed, we can only express our personal views 
and therefore we ask permission to be very brief. 

The statistical organization of France was established 
very slowly in the course of centuries and athwart the revo- 
lutions with which our history is filled. It was built up 
like alluvium, incrementum laiens, to use the phrase of the 
Roman jurisconsult. Its development and its progress 
were realized in a wholly empirical way, as the need of them 
made itself felt. No comprehensive view, no systematic 
conception has governed it. Most of the gaps which one 
can discover today have no other explanation. 

The most serious of all perhaps, and in certain respects 
the most surprising, is the lack of centralization apd of 
specialization of the branches of service entrusted with the 
compilation of statistics. 

This centralization and this specialization are still inade- 
quate. They ought to be gr;eatly strengthened immediately 
in every one of our ministries. Every one of them ought, 
at the outset, to possess a bureau of statistics, whose duty it 
should be to control and centralize the statistical work of 
the various special departments of the ministry. But no 


less indispensable would be a closer union of all the statistical 
bureaus of the different ministries with a single central 
department which should thus become, as it were, the brain 
of French statistics, which should constitute not simply a 
branch of a ministry but an institution of general adminis- 
tration and government. 

Our existing service, the Statistique gSnSrale de la France 
supported by the two Coimcils which surround it, by the 
Conseil SupSrieur de Statistique, created in 1885, and the 
Conseil de la Statistique g6nSrale, created by the law of August 
14, 1907, seems destined to be some day that great institu- 
tion which Necker and Lavoisier clearly foresaw. 

In another very important matter the actual organization 
lacks something eminently desirable. We mean in the 
recruiting of the agents who are called to work together in 
making statistics. 

The service de la Statistique gSnSrale de la France is the 
only one which (since 1907) recruits its superior officers, the 
calculators, by competitive examination. But nothing is 
done to attract and prepare the candidates. The last exam- 
ination took place in 1911. The number of candidates was 
so small that there were not enough to fill the vacant places. 
That is due in great part to the fact that our superannuated 
regulations are flatly unfavorable to statistical agents. 
These unfortunate persons are treated a little like pariahs. 
There is no future open to them in administrative careers. 
And even their treatment is inferior to that accorded to 
similar categories of clerks in the ministries. 

As for the numerous personnel which, in all the ministries, 
collaborates in statistical work, no preparation, no special 
competence is required of them. 

The question of recruiting the statistical force is bound 
up intimately with the question of instruction in statistics. 
This question, like the first, has been very badly answered 
in France. 

Instruction in statistics in France is given by a very lim- 
ited number of professors, at the FacultS de Droit in Paris 


and at the Conservatoire des Arts et M&tiers. It is purely 
doctrinal in character and is utterly lacking in authority. 
But, such as it is, the necessity of making it general is in- 
contestable. It ought to be given in all our FacultSs de 
Droit. Is it not the natural complement of instruction in 
poUtical economy, in labor legislation, in the science of 
finance? How can we admit that it should not figure 
in the program of courses either in our Ecole naiionale des 
Pants et ChaussSes or of our Ecole nationale Supirieure des 

But what is no more deniable is the necessity of profes- 
sional instruction in statistics intended to prepare the future 
statisticians of all our departments of public service. 

For more than twenty years the Conseil SupSrieur de Sta- 
tistique, at our suggestion, has insisted on this double neces- 

Professional instruction in statistics ought to be organ- 
ized, in Paris, in two or three courses which might reason- 
ably be connected with the Service de la Statistique gSnirale 
de la France. 

This indicates, in a word, the essential reforms which 
seem to be called for in the organization of statistics in 

After that, all that can be said is that, first, the utility of 
making general the use of fiches and centralized compila- 
tion; second, the utility of reestablishing decennial statistics 
of customs; third, the utility that there might be in giving 
us a great number of statistics which we lack, such, for exam- 
ple, as the statistics of emigration and immigration, or the 
statistics of hypothecation, for which the forms have been 
ready since 1897; fourth, the great interest in the develop- 
ment of international statistics and in permanent contact 
between our French statisticians and foreign statisticians; 
— all these reforms, all these improvements are relatively 
secondary. And we may be sure that they will infallibly 
be realized on the day when the essential reforms shall be 
well under way. 



By Dr. Eugene Wurzburgbr 

Privy Councillor, Director of the Royal Statistical State Office in Dresden 

I, Historical Development 

In its time the old German realm which was dissolved in 
1806 did not know of official statistical investigations, 
although in the states constituting it numerous tendencies 
toward such undertakings were already at hand. In these 
states, and especially in the cities {Jreie Reichstddte) which 
likewise formed states, enumerations of populations for 
purposes of administration took place in early days; and a 
few of them have in recent times been made scientifically 
useful, for instance in Biicher's work "The Population of 
Frankfurt a. M. in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. " 
Tables showing property in land and live stock reach far 
back into the middle ages; the results of the queries, how- 
ever, were not published but kept secret, and even today the 
archives to a large extent hide unlifted treasures. 

The work by Biisching of 1785 "Vorbereitung zurgriind- 
lichen und nutzlichen Kenntnis der geographischen Beschaf- 
f enheit und Staatsverfassung der europaischen Reiche, "* is 
to be regarded as the first publication of official statistical 
material that had been critically sifted. 

Inquiry into the conditions of population, based according 
to the English model on the church registers, was begun by 
Siissmilch in his book of 1741 called "Betrachtungen iiber 
die gottliche Ordnung in den Veranderungen des mensch- 
lichen Geschlechts aus der Geburt, dem Tode und der Fort- 

*Preparation for a Thorough and Useful Knowledge of the Geographic Condi- 
tion and Constitutions of the European Countries. 


pflanzung desselben erwiesen."* In the preface to it, the 
philosopher Christian WolflF points out "how the theories 
of probability can be made useful in human life." 

The first statistical state office within the boundaries of 
the present German Empire was founded in Prussia in the 
year 1805. "Statistical-topographical" bureaus were estab- 
lished in Bavaria in 1808 and in Wiirttemburg in 1820. 
Already in 1817 topography was made a separate branch in 
Bavaria, while in Wiirttemburg an association of official 
character, which since 1822 had been more occupied with 
statistics than the bureau just mentioned, was united with 
it in 1856. In Saxony, also, a systematic statistical activity 
was carried on by an oflScially subsidized association founded 
in 1831 and whose bureau was taken over by the state in 
1850. The other separate states followed these examples 
in turn, so that today only some of the smallest of them are 
without their own statistical bureaus. 

Soon after these beginnings toward official organization 
of statistics in the separate states, the need made itself felt 
of certain joint investigations, not for the benefit of that 
very loose structure, the German Union, which lasted until 
1866, but to meet the demands of the German Tariff Union 
which had existed alongside of it since 1833. The founda- 
tion of this Union by Prussia was chiefly due to the acci- 
dental circumstance that the introduction of frontier tariffs 
in place of the earlier internal duties had been made difficult 
for Prussia by the parts of other federated states which were 
surrounded by its domain, in case these had not joined in 
her tariff policy. Later on, however, the Tariff Union was 
expanded beyond the needs determined in this manner, so 
that finally almost all the territories of the later German 
Empire belonged to it. 

To be sure, the joint statistics of the Tariff Union were 
obtained solely with an eye to revenue administration and 
were prepared in its central bureau. But from the outset 

*Reflections on the Divine Order in the Mutations of the Human Race as Indi- 
cated by its Birth, Death and Propagation. 


the statistics included not only the goods traflfic with foreign 
countries and its yield in revenue, for uniform enumerations 
of population became necessary as the income from the 
tariffs and the common imposts was to be distributed among 
the separate states according to the number of persons 
contained in their populations. Therefore, from 1834 and 
until 1867, triennial enumerations of population were made. 
Moreover, the need arose of being able to gauge the influence 
of revenue political measures upon the business activity of 
the population. This led to an expansion of the population 
enumerations of 1846 and 1861 so as to include statistical 
inquiries concerning occupation and industry. There were 
also introduced current statistics of shipping as well as of 
the production of mines, salt and smelting works. 

When the German Union was dissolved in 1866 and the 
"North German Union" was founded, which consisted of 
Prussia and the north German middle and small states, the 
central bureau of the Tariff Union continued on; and until 
the foundation of the Empire in the year 1871 a "federal 
council" and a parliament of the Tariff Union still existed 
in addition to the federal council and parliament of the 
North German Union. The necessity that had arisen 
through the new conditions for an expansion of the joint 
statistics was particularly felt by the Tariff Union whose 
field was greater than that of the North German Union; and 
thus it came about that the federal council of the Tariff 
Union resolved, on December 20, 1869, to establish a com- 
mission charged with the task of planning the wider develop- 
ment of the joint statistics. Representatives of statistics 
from the larger states were called to this commission. It 
convened four times for protracted meetings consisting of a 
total of 81 sessions. Two of them took place in 1870 and 
two in 1871, after the war with France. Separate sessions 
to confer about the special affairs concerning only the North 
German Union were held by the members of the commission 
who belonged to it. The foundation of the German Empire, 
which had occurred in the meantime, of itself necessitated 


an enlargement of the existing plans in regard to the joint 
statistics, and when the central bureau of the Tariff Union 
which hitherto had been occupied with them ceased its 
activity on March 31, 1871, the question was taken up of 
establishing a special oflfice for the joint statistics. In sub- 
mitting the results of its deliberations to the federal council 
of the present Empire, the commission, in its report of May 
26, 1871, proposed (although this did not really belong to its 
task), before the conclusion of its work, the foundation and 
establishment of a central governmental office for statistics. 
The proposition was formulated as follows: "The material, 
in part already fixed and partly prospective, which is to be 
dealt with statistically at the seat of the central administra- 
tion is so comprehensive that the establishment of a special 
and technical government office is necessary for this purpose. 
The office should not be a mere tabulating and editing bureau 
but have the character of an institute provided with a sci- 
entific personnel." 

Of the thirteen signers of this report one is still alive, 
namely, the honorary member of the American Statistical 
Association, G. v. Mayr, in Munich. 

The report was accompanied by an opinion by Rumelin 
(" On the Foundation and Establishment of a Governmental 
Office for German Statistics"), sketching the lines of devel- 
opment that the statistics in the German Empire should take 
in a manner which has been realized as to its most important 
principles although not in all detail. 

The basic idea was a threefold division of the material. 
All the work of statistical offices was to be placed in three 
classes which Rumelin designated as central, federal and 
special statistics. For the character of the now federated 
states demanded, as the former union of states had done, a 
joint and parallel activity on the part of the central and state 
statisticians which subsequently has attained a high degree 
of systematic development. 

The central statistics consist of the work undertaken solely 
and directly by the officials of the Empire without any 


cooperation by the statistical offices of the separate states. 
At the outset only the statistics of foreign commerce be- 
longed under this head, the materials for which were sent 
from the revenue offices to the government office. 

The federal statistics are those collected by the separate 
states according to common principles established for the 
greater part by the federal council and worked into uniform 
tables which are transmitted to the imperial office and com- 
piled by it for the Empire as a whole and thereupon pub- 
lished. To the federal statistics should belong the great 
enumerations, and the statistics of the movement of popu- 
lation, so far as they are gathered on a uniform basis, and 
also the regular census of agriculture and industry. 

Finally, the special statistics consist of those that are 
collected by the individual states on their own initiative and 
without reference to the Empire. To this class belong sta- 
tistics covering administrative, business, and cultural con- 
ditions in all the fields that are subject to independent con- 
trol by the separate states within their own domains. 

This threefold division of official statistics, considering 
the situation at the time of the foundation of the Empire, 
was almost exhaustive, for the fourth class, the community 
statistics which was added later, had as yet been developed 
in but a few of the large municipalities. Later on, however, 
they were cultivated in numerous cities through their own 
communal statistical offices, and in increasing measure 
according to common principles. 

The center of statistics in the German Empire is the 
Imperial Statistical Office which becanie operative on July 
21, 1872, in conformity with the resolution adopted by the 
federal council on March 9 of the same year. Its personnel 
consisted of a director, two associates, and eight bureau 
officials. From the beginning the office had three divisions 
(population and general statistics, agriculture and industry, 
foreign commerce), of which one was immediately under 
the director, while both of the others were conducted by 
professionally trained counsellors (associate members). 



Since that time, this oflSce has been enormously expanded 
as appears from the fact that, according to the budget of 
1914, there were, beside the director, 27 professionally trained 
officials (as against two when it was founded) and 387 other 
permanent officials (as against the former eight), and finally 
a variable number, of non-permanent clerks but always 
amounting to several hundred, so that the total personnel 
at the present time exceeds eight hundred. And as the 
development of the other official statistical bureaus has not 
been retarded by the expansion of the imperial office, but 
their field of activity has been increased more or less, it can 
be asserted that while statistics in Germany in the eighteenth 
century were characterized by theories founded on meager 
practical results, their development in the new era is almost 
synonymous with official statistics; and a history of official 
statistics is therefore at the same time a history of statistics 
in Germany generally speaking; for the official statistics 
have opened up statistically most of the fields to which 
their attention has been directed. 

II. Organization and Activity of the Statistical Offices 


The following introductory remarks will serve to make 
clear the outward significance of official statistics in the 
German Empire. In addition to the Imperial Statistical 
Office all the larger, middle and some of the small federated 
states have independent statistical state bureaus — a total 
of seventeen. They are the following : 

Year when 
State. Designation of Office. Established. 

1. Kingdom of Prussia Royal Statistical State Office in 

Berlin 1805 

2. Kingdom of Bavaria Royal Statistical State Office in 

Munich 1808 

3. Kingdom of Saxony Royal Statistical State Office in 

Dresden 1851 

4. Kingdom of Wilrttemberg Royal Statistical State Office in 

Stuttgart 1820 


6. Grand-duchy of Baden 

6. Grand-duchy of Hessen 

7. Grand-duchy of Mecklenburg- 


8. Grand-duchy of Saxe- 

Duchy of Saze-Altenburg 
Principalities of 

Reuss OX. 

Reuss Y.L, 

9. Grand-duchy of Oldenburg 

10. Duchy of Braunschweig 

11. Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen 

12. Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 

13. Duchy of Anhalt 

14. Free City of Lttbeck 

15. Free City of Bremen 

16. Free City of Hamburg 

17. Imperial Domain of Alsace- 

Grand-ducal Statistical State Of- 
fice in Karlsruhe 1852 

Grand-ducal Central Office for 

State Statistics in Darmstadt 1861 

Grand-ducal Statistical State Of- 
fice in Schwerin 1851 

Thflringian State Statistical Office 

in Weimar 1864 

Grand-ducal State Statistical Of- 
fice in Oldenburg 1855 

Ducal State Statistical Office in 

Braunschweig 1853 

Statistical Bureau of the Ducal 

Ministry oiState in Meiningen 1875 

Statistical Bureau of the Ducal 

State Ministry in Gotha 1858 

Ducal State Statistical Office in 

Dessau 1867 

Statbtical Office of the Free and 

Hansa City 1871 

Statistical Office of Bremen 1867 

Statistical Bureau and Bureau of 
the Central Election Com- 
mission 1866 

Statistical State Office for Alsace- 

Lomune in Strassburg 1872 

Of these seventeen oflBces, ten are each under a director 
whose chief occupation it is to direct it. In Liibeck the 
director also holds other positions, and in Hessen, the Thtir- 
ingian office, Braunschweig, Meiningen, Coburg-Gotha and 
Anhalt, the statistical service is in charge of officials holding 
other state offices and who perform this service as a sub- 
sidiary occupation; yet the central office for Hessen employs 
some scientific officials in the chief bureau. The smallest 
states, namely the Grand-duchy of Mechlenburg-Strelitz 
and the principalities of Waldeck, Schaumburg-Lippe and 
Lippe, are without specially organized statistical offices. 


So far as Waldeck is concerned, the entire administration, 
including the statistical function, is in charge of Prussia, 
while in the other three states the requisite statistical work 
rests with the general state government. 

Furthermore, forty five municipaUties support their own 
statistical offices, namely: 

Aachen, Altona, Augsburg, Barmen, Berlin, Schoneberg, 
Wilmersdorf, Braunschweig, Breslau, Cassel, Charlotten- 
burg, Chemnitz, Coin, Crefeld, Danzig, Dortmund, Dresden, 
Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Elberfeld, Essen, Frankfurt a. M., 
Freiburg, Gorlitz, Halle, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Kbnigs- 
berg, Leipzig, Linden, Magdeburg, Mainz, Mannheim, 
Metz, Miilheim, Munchen, Neukblln, Nurnberg, Plauen, 
Posen, Stettin, Strassburg, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden. 

Of these municipal offices, thirty nine are under the leader- 
ship of professional statisticians. The oldest municipal 
statistical office is that of Berlin which was established as 
early as 1862. The large majority date from more recent 
times, for twenty four of these forty five municipal statistical 
offices have been established since the year 1900. To these 
should be added the only provincial-statistical office, namely, 
that of the district of Teltow which contains a part of the 
environs of the city of Berlin. 

All of these offices are occupied not with one branch of 
statistics alone, for instance the registration of births, mar- 
riages and deaths, or exclusively or chiefly with medical 
statistics, but are bureaus for general statistics of the most 
varied kind. 

Only in isolated instances do the municipal offices in 
question engage in non-statistical work. For instance, in 
Prussia and Saxony, it is their duty to publish annually the 
lists of the markets that are to take place the following year 
in the different parishes, and in some municipalities these 
offices prepare the general printed reports in regard to the 
municipal administration. The only office which, besides 
statistics, is occupied with other tasks on a large scale is that 
of Wurttemburg, which is also the center of information and 


history of the country as well as of topographical work. This, 
however, is rather a matter of form, for the personnel of the 
statistical division is in fact not engaged in other tasks. 

The expenditures of the Imperial Statistical OflSce amount 
annually to more than two and one-half million marks, those 
of the other state statistical bureaus to two million marks, 
while the outlay of the municipal statistical offices is to be 
reckoned at one million marks, making a total annual ex- 
penditure of five and one-half million marks, not counting 
special appropriations for censuses of population and other 
statistical investigations which are not of annual occurrence. 

The permanent personnel occupied at the statistical offices 
numbers 1,500, among whom are 130 to 140 scientifically 
trained officials and about 650 calculators and clerks; the 
remaining 700 are assistants who are engaged as occasion 
demands and whose total number at times is considerably 

There is in addition the so-called "unreleased" {unaus- 
geloste) statistics that are compiled by other departments 
than the statistical bureaus. They hold a place of no incon- 
siderable importance among the statistics of the Empire as 
well as among those of the federated states and municipali- 
ties, although less so than in many other countries where 
the concentration of work in the statistical offices is not so 
developed. The statistics under consideration are limited 
to departments which have need of appending statistical 
information to the reports of their own administrative 
activities for purposes of illustration or because it is inti- 
mately related to their work. 

The progress which the official statistics in the German 
Empire have made since they were organized has taken 
place, one may confidently assert, exclusively in the fields 
that are occupied by the statistical offices proper and this 
progress manifests itself by an expansion of their activity in 
intensive as well as extensive directions. 

The peculiarity of the wide distribution of statistics in 
the German Empire lies in that it does not only extend 


horizontally to different coordinated administrations, but 
much more in that it penetrates vertically the organs of the 
Empire, the states and the municipalities, which are founded 
one upon the other, and therefore this distribution has as its 
indispensable premise an intimate relation of the partici- 
pating factors which perhaps is of less significance under 
other systems of dividing statistical activities. 

The division of work among the statistical oflSces partici- 
pating in different investigations is not strictly systematic, 
but in course of the development of affairs it has become 
quite complicated. 

Even the Imperial Statistical Office is by no means the 
only one engaged in the "central" statistics which it com- 
piles. As the original data in a large part are collected not 
only through officials of the imperial administration but 
through those of the separate states, the latter are in posi- 
tion to copy the material or make extracts before transmit- 
ting it to the Imperial Statistical Office and thus of dealing 
with it for their domain more intensively according to terri- 
tory or contents than is possible for the Imperial Office. 
Since differences would arise in the results of the compilations 
made by the Empire and by the federated states provided 
tests of the material by one or the other should lead to 
changes and additions, the agreement has been reached in 
many instances that the imperial and the federated state 
offices shall make mutually known the outcome of such 
tests. The schedules used in such investigations are for the 
greater part determined and provided by the Imperial 
Office, and their expansion through additional questions on 
behalf of the separate states is therefore as a rule not feasible. 

Although in recent times many branches of social and 
industrial statistics have been taken up by the Imperial 
Office, "federal" statistics constitute the most diverse part 
of its work; they include, as already stated, large enumera- 
tions in which the whole population is required to fill out 
the schedules. 
|'{^ Since the very beginning of imperial statistics and in con- 


formity with 'the conference mentioned which may be re- 
garded as having given birth to them, arrangements have 
been made with the leaders of the statistical oflfices of the 
Empire and the federated states for conventions at which the 
plans for the governmental regulations in regard to the 
separate investigations in the field of federal statistics 
are thoroughly discussed before being submitted to the 
federal council. These conventions, which formerly were 
occasional affairs, have been held annually since 1897; and 
all the more important federal statistical investigations are 
thoroughly weighed by them before the federal council 
orders the work to be undertaken. For the rest, these con- 
ventions have in many respects become an important factor 
in the imperial statistics, for to them are due not only num- 
erous suggestions in regard to the regulations of the federal 
council, but in some fields new comparative work in imperial 
statistics has been instigated solely through the means of 
cooperation agreed upon by the leaders of the statistical 
offices who participated in these conferences. 

The directors of the municipal statistical offices have held 
joint meetings since 1897 chiefly for the purpose of reaching 
the greatest possible uniformity in the work they carry on 
independently of the state administrations. This work lies 
principally within the field of population, building and 
dwelling, and community finance statistics. Conferences 
of this sort have latterly been held once a year. 

Another feature of the German official statistics is that 
with few exceptions the investigations are not fixed by legis- 
lation but are carried out by way of administration through 
regulations made by the federal council; and in conformity 
with such regulations the governments of the separate states 
likewise arrange through administrative edicts the details for 
executing the work. In general, an imperial law is adopted 
only relative to investigations in which the population is 
bound under penalty to fill out the schedules and for the 
compilation of which the federated states, when federal 
statistics are in question, receive an indemnification for 


costs from the imperial treasury. This was the case in the 
three enumerations of occupation and industry for the years 
1882, 1895 and 1907. Aside from this, only the statistics of 
foreign commerce are governed by laws, and in the legisla- 
tion concerning sea fisheries statistics are also provided for. 
There are no other laws prescribing statistical investigations. 
It is not at all necessary to provide penalties in case the 
requisite statements should be refused, because the popu- 
lation generally recognizes the importance of furnishing 
correctly the information required for statistical purposes 
and almost without exception give it without being coerced. 

The conviction that administrative statistics demand an 
activity of a peculiar kind which appropriately should be 
entrusted to a specially organized bureau led to the estab- 
lishment of statistical offices; but the full advantage of 
properly formulated statistical technique of production for 
the whole field will only grow out of the existence of these 
offices when arrangements are niade that cause all work 
suitable for the statistical office to be discharged by it, and 
when the leadership of the offices as well as of the large divi- 
sions under them is given to persons with sufficient insight 
into administration and who completely master statistical 
practice. These demands are not yet met everywhere nor 
in a consistent manner. 

With reference to the allotment of work that advanta- 
geously can be turned over to the statistical office, of which, 
as already mentioned, business statistics of the separate 
departments are not necessarily a part, there is a certain 
natural tendency in the opposite direction. It arises from 
the circumstance that the statistical offices of the Empire 
and of the federated states are subject to a single depart- 
ment, namely, the Imperial Statistical Office in the Depart- 
ment of the Interior, while the offices of the federated states 
are under some ministry (usually that of the Interior, in 
Wurttemburg that of Finance), and that these superiors 
are inclined to make use of the forces of the office chiefly 
for the advantage of their special department. On the 


other hand, the personal initiative of the leader of the sta- 
tistical oflSce is naturally of great importance as it probably 
everywhere, to a certain extent, influences the allotment of 
work to the office. 

In some states special commissions have the task of bring- 
ing about uniform cooperation between the different branches 
of the state administration and the official statistical work. 
In Prussia, the "Central Statistical Commission" functions 
as a statistical council. It is composed of representatives 
of different ministries and the Imperial Department of the 
Interior, the President and a second member of the Sta- 
tistical State Office, three members of both houses of the 
Landtag, and of professional statisticians. The Statistical 
Council of Bavaria is made up of representatives of the 
different ministries, the director of the Statistical State 
Office, four representatives of agriculture, industry and 
commerce, and one or more representatives of science. In 
both of the states mentioned, the statistical councils meet 
only occasionally and not very often. This is also true of 
the statistical commission in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In 
Wiirttemburg permanent delegates of the ministries are 
appointed to the Statistical State Office, and in Hessen 
representatives of the different administrative departments 
are members of the Central Office for State Statistics and 
thus maintain the relations between the administration and 
statistics. Meanwhile, the central statistical commissions 
which were established in the middle of the last century in 
some other German states (Baden, Oldenburg) have gone 
out of existence. 

A word must be said about the internal organization of 
the statistical offices. As in the case of the directors of 
the Imperial Statistical Office, so also, are the leaders of the 
larger bureaus assisted by a number of scientifically trained 
co-workers. That so far no general principles have been 
evolved governing the selection of these assistants as well as 
the selection of the leaders themselves, is due to the cir- 
cumstance that no actual definitely regulated occupational 


training of statisticians is provided for in the German high 
schools in the same manner as for administrative officials, 
judges, physicians, etc. The reason of it lies in the nature 
of statistics themselves, for although there may be a differ- 
ence of opinion as to whether statistics form an independent 
science or only constitute a method, it cannot be doubted 
that to exercise the calling of a statistician requires a certain 
amount of knowledge and aptitude which cannot be obtained 
as the result of any other vocational training. The most 
appropriate manner of providing a future generation of 
trained statisticians would, therefore, be to introduce special 
courses and perhaps also special examinations for statisticians 
at the universities. But such a plan can only be realized 
when the scientific positions in statistical offices become so 
numerous that many students see an opportunity in the 
statistical occupation. 

Yet, after all, the increase and expansion of statistical 
offices have led many young people, who, during their stu- 
dent years, had prepared themselves for other careers, to 
enter a statistical office in order to learn its activities and 
then to become sufficiently familiar with them to gain 
recognition as professional statisticians. The scientific 
forces of the municipal statistical offices are as a rule recruited 
among the different municipal administrations from persons 
who have been trained in this manner; but in the state 
offices cases of this kind occur comparatively seldom. As 
a rule the governments prefer to ffil the positions of leaders 
and assistants with persons who have shown their qualifica- 
tions in other administrative offices, and of whom it can be 
assumed that they will soon attain the necessary statistical 
experience through practice. When a large number of 
places are in question, it is customary to reserve some for 
representatives of certain scientific branches, the knowledge 
of which is of value in dealing with special matters conaing 
before the office. Thus, for instance, in several offices 
physicians are in charge of the statistics of morbidity, mor- 
tality, etc., and academically trained calculators look after 
the compilation of agricultural statistics. 


It follows from the nature of the statistical offices as ad- 
ministrative organs that their production, that is, the sta- 
tistical material collected by them, must benefit the public 
administration. But, as regards the manner in which it is 
utilized by the administrations, a twofold distinction is to 
be made. If an investigation is undertaken because some 
concrete object (for instance, the preparation of a legislative 
bill) postulates statistical bases that are not yet at hand but 
to be gained through the investigation, then an adequate 
utilization of its results for administrative purposes is guar- 
anteed. The case is different in respect to most of the 
regular tasks of the statistical offices — ^the investigation of 
periodical conditions and current movements. Here the 
previously determined object is lacking, and it cannot be 
foreseen whether on the whole the administration will have 
an opportunity to make use of the results of this or that 
investigation corresponding to the trouble and cost involved. 
But, on the other hand, just this indefiniteness makes it 
possible that needs which could not have been predicated in 
advance may lead to a thorough utilization of the results 
and that, therefore, the limits set beforehand both to the 
investigation and the compilation show themselves to be too 
narrow in the individual case. It is thus left to the pre- 
vision of the leaders of the statistical offices to test in season 
how far the compilation, and in many instances the investi- 
gation itself, can be expanded beyond the momentarily 
fixed demands without exceeding the bounds created by the 
financial means of the office and other circumstances. Mean- 
while this possibility occurs for the statistical offices only 
when they have obtained the original data of inquiry for 
compilation, and for the Imperial Statistical Office con- 
sequently in case of "central" statistics. 

But precisely in respect to the subjects belonging to 
"central" statistics the compass of the investigation and 
compilation is closely circumscribed by existing regulations, 
so that in this direction the initiative of the Imperial Sta- 
tistical Office is given but little scope. Not so with the 


oflSces of the federated states. In regard to the federal 
undertakings which constitute the most diverse part of the 
German statistics, it is their duty to formulate the schedules 
for their respective states, to carry out the investigations 
and to complete their material. Thus in many respects 
they are in a position to expand their work beyond the limits 
prescribed for the joint imperial statistics. This holds 
good when the interrogatory is amplified during the investi- 
gation itself by means of so-called supplementary questions, 
relative to the results of these questions. Furthermore, the 
statements obtained by the different offices frequently are 
still more minutely partitioned, that is, distributed into 
more groups than required for the purpose of the joint sta- 
tistics. Then, too, the results of different questions are 
often presented in more combinations than in a case of the 
imperial statistics.* Finally, it is almost universally the 
custom that the separate states prepare the tables for the 
smaller local units of administration, while for the purposes 
of imperial statistics only a summary for the entire federated 
state or for its larger districts is required and published. 

Such special results of the activity of the statistical office 
of a single federated state have repeatedly shown themselves 
to be useful so far as they actually yield more thorough 
information than that at hand for the Empire; and this holds 
good not only of the state in question but of the country at 
large, as such information has the same significance for the 
latter as the statistical surrogates obtained by the so-called 
sampling method. The like is true of the special statistics 
proper, that is, statistics collected for particular purposes, 
and also true of many of the undertakings by the municipal 
statistical offices which enlarge the enumerations to be made 
on behalf of the state so far as the municipal domain is 

*For instance, when at censuses of population tables are called for showing the 
states to which the inhabitants belong and the countries of their birth, a distinction 
is made in many federated states in regard to the countries of birth for persons of 
each single state relationship. 


There is, to be sure, one obstacle to the full utilization of 
all these refined statistical inquiries: it is made difficult by 
the almost complete absence of reference works which afford 
easily accessible information about the existence of such and 
such data. For one field — statistics of the movement of 
population — ^I have made a compilation of this kind which 
appeared as a supplement to the Allgemeines Statistisches 
Archiv, 1909. In most fields of statistics, however, the 
results of the activity of the state and municipal offices in 
federal and special investigations that complement the 
imperial statistics are so scattered that they can only be 
taken advantage of and, as a matter of fact, are used in a 
wholly insufficient degree. The joint regulation of these 
branches of statistics, which already Riimelin had in view in 
his program referred to above, has not yet been accomplished. 

Self-evidently it is difficult to pronounce a general judg- 
ment about these matters. But also among the imperial 
statistical publications only those can be said to enjoy a 
thorough use that are of immediate practical significance in 
details, for instance, the statistics of foreign commerce, and 
the criminal statistics. For the rest it cannot be denied 
that as well in the scientific fields which should benefit by 
an intensive use of statistical results, their utilization is in a 
large part quite sparing and incontestably out of keeping with 
the extraordinary abundance of the statistical production. 

The reason for this condition is likewise to be sought in the 
insufficient representation of statistics at the high schools. 
With few exceptions they do not afford the students a sys- 
tematic introduction to statistics which still have to attain 
their proper place among the subjects of instruction at the 
high schools. 

On this account, one of the earliest tasks of the German 
Statistical Association, founded in 1911, was to take steps 
toward a more general instruction in statistics at the high 


Because of the naany-sidedness of the official statistics 
in the German Empire it is impossible to present with any 


degree of completeness the diflferent branches covered by the 
activity of the numerous statistical offices, and merely to 
give a list of their publications would require a dispropor- 
tionate amount of space. 

The publications comprehended under imperial statistics 
are issued chiefly by the Imperial Statistical Office in the 
form of different original works: Statistics of the German 
Empire, which contain the most complete statistics, at least 
one volume being devoted to each branch; the Quarterlies 
which, aside from certain definite statistics of lesser com- 
pass, afford preliminary information about subjects dealt 
with in the Statistics of the German Empire; the annual 
Statistics of the Freight Movement on the German Railways, 
which must be regarded as a supplement to the publication 
of the State Railway Department entitled Statistics of the 
Operating Railways of Gerrriany; the monthly reports on 
foreign commerce which customarily are accompanied by 
data in regard to prices and fisheries; finally, the publications 
of the Division for Labor Statistics, consisting of a monthly 
Government Labor Journal, and of different separate studies. 

The Statistical Year Book and the more comprehensive 
Statistical Hand Book which so far has appeared once (1907) 
in two parts, are not designed to present original work but 
to be a summary of what already has been published. 

So far as the federated states are concerned, the statistical 
offices of Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony each publishes a 
separate Zeitschrift as well as original works which, in con- 
formity with the Statistics of the German Empire, contain the 
results of the larger statistical investigations. Similar 
organs are published by the statistical offices in all the 
federated states, and many in addition issue a year book or 
hand book. The municipal statistical offices in greater 
part publish monthly reports on different statistical results 
but also in several instances year books, Communications 
(Mitteilungen) and the like. The Statistical Year Book of 
German Cities, published at the instigation of the Municipal 
Statistical Conference, is an important document in the 


service of comparative communal statistics and covers 
cities with more than 50,000 population. This year book 
does not, as otherwise is the rule, form a mere compilation 
of numerical statements, but every section is accompanied 
by an explanatory text dealing in part with the origin of the 
statistics in question and in part with the significance of the 
numbers. This is the type of statistical year book had in 
view by the two most eminent representatives of statistics 
in Germany among those who have already passed away, 
namely, E. Engel, director first of the Saxon and later 
(until 1882) of the Prussian Statistical State Office, and R. 
Boeckh, who was a director of the Statistical Office of the 
City of Berlin from 1875 to 1903, The year book of Berhn 
has remained true to this type until the present day. 

A list of all these organs of publication is to be found in 
the Deutsches Statistisches Zentralblatt for 1909, No. 2, with 
supplements in No. 5, also in No. 4 for 1910. 

At jubilees and on other occasions some of the statistical 
offices have issued collective publications dealing in a more 
or less comprehensive manner with the history and status 
of their activity at the time. Such memoirs are: 

1. The Imperial Statistical Office. The Field of Work of the Imperial Statistical 
Office as it Existed in the Year 1918. 40-666 pp. Berlin, 191S. (Vol. 201 
of the Statistics of the German Empire.) 

i. Kingdom of Prusiia. The Royal Statistical Office During the First Century of its 
Existence, 1806-1905. Memorial publication. Three parts in two volumes 
(XII, 271; VIII, 161 and XIX pp. with 116 colored plates). Berlin. Pub- 
lished by the Royal Statistical State Office, 1909. 

3. Kingdom of Bavaria. 1. History and Organization of OffixAal Statistics in 

the Kingdom of Bavaria. 336 pp. Mimich, 1896. 
2. History of the Newer Bavarian Siaiistics (Contri- 
butions to the statistics of the Kingdom of 
Bavaria, part 86). 277 pp. Munich, 1914. 

4. Kingdom of Saxony. 1. The Statistical Bureau of the Kingdom of Saxony 

During the First Fifty Years of its Existence. 
Memorial Publication. 96 pp. Leipzig, 1881. 
2. The Royal Statistical State Bureau from 1876 to 
1890. A report of administration. Journal 
of the Royal Statistical Bureau of Saxony, 36, 
1890. Dresden, 1890. 


5. The Kingdom of WiirUemberg. The Problems and Work of the Royal Statistical 

State Office. (Year Books for Statistics and Landeskunde in Wttrttemberg, 
1909, 1.) 

6. Orand-Duchy of Hessen. The History of Hessian Statistics and Their Qffieiai 

Organization. In Commenwration of the 50th Anniversary of the Grand Ducal 
Hessian Central Office for State Statistics. 72 pp. Darmstadt, 1911. 

7. Grand-Duchy of Oldenburg. The Statistical Office of the Grand-Duchy of Olden- 

burg During the First Fifty Years of its Existence. (Conrad's Jahrbticher fUr 
NationalSkonomie und Statistik, series III, Vol. 28.) 

8. The Duchy of Braunschweig. The First Fifty Years of the Statistical Bureau of 

the Duchy of Braunschweig-LUneburg, 1854 to 1904. (Contributions to the 
Statistics of the Duchy of Braunschweig, part 18, Braunschweig, 1904.) 

Of the non-oflScial publications dealing with the entire 
field of activity of the statistical offices in Germany there 
should be mentioned (1) the great work of more than 1800 
pages which was presented in 1911 to G. von Mayr on the 
occasion of his seventieth birthday; (2) the Statistics in Ger- 
many which consists of fifty two separate presentations of 
different subjects and deals with all three branches — ^govern- 
mental, state and communal statistics; and (8) in regard 
to the statistical activity of communes, the supplementary 
volume to Allgemeines Statistisches Archiv, Vol. 6, entitled 
German Municipal Statistics. It relates, however, to a some- 
what remote year. 

III. The Subjects of Statistical Investigation 

Even if it is not possible to consider all details, at least a 
glance must be taken at the more important subjects of the 
joint (central or federal) imperial statistics,* with some 
attention to the special statistics. 

Among the subjects taken over for central treatment, 
meaning thereby that the original data are dealt with by the 
imperial offices and not by the state offices, the statistics of 
foreign commerce are the most comprehensive and, as 

*At this point I must express my thanks to the directors of the statistical state 
offices for their often laboriously prepared answers to the questions which I put 
to them for the purposes of the following survey; I also wish to thank Dr. Claus 
and Dr. Huth of the Imperial office for the thorough compilation they furnished at 
my request of the subjects of the pubUcations of that office. 


already stated, they date from the time of the Tariff Union. 
Their present form is based upon the law of February 7, 
1906, relative to the statistics of goods traffic with foreign 
countries. The receiver, shipper, and transporter are in 
duty bound to transmit a notification to the proper place of 
report, stating the kind, quantity, place of origin, and desti- 
nation of the goods. According to the resolution of the 
federal council of February 11, 1911, the report must state 
the value of all goods exported — ^previously only in some 
cases — and also in regard to some goods that are imported. 
In the case of goods whose value it is not obligatory to de- 
clare, unit prices are fixed for the different kind of goods by 
the aid of a commerical statistical council consisting of per- 
sons trained in agriculture, commerce, industry and science. 
For imports, the value of the goods is considered to be the 
one they have on passing the boundary, that is to say, minus 
duty, freight charges, etc. On the basis of the statements 
received at the places of information, reports must be made 
out every ten days, sometimes at briefer intervals, and 
transmitted to the Imperial Statistical Office. 

The reports received in the Imperial Statistical Office are 
compiled by the aid of Hollerith machines. The goods are 
valued according to the Statistical Goods Registers which 
(since January 1, 1912) divide those belonging to exports into 
1,639 and those belonging to imports into 1,875 numbers. 
The origin and destination is noted for the country in which 
the article was grown or manufactured, and as the place of 
destination the country for whose use it is destined. 

The statistics are issued monthly and annually; in addition, 
the import and export of different cereals and some other 
important goods such as cotton, coal, etc., are published 
every ten days in the Reichsanzeiger. 

The annual statistics of ocean shipping, which also date 
from the time of the Tariff Union, are likewise compiled in the 
Imperial Statistical Office; and their present form is based 
upon the resolutions of the federal council of June 27, 1907, 
and of June 13, 1912. The same office compiles the monthly 



reports of the Imperial Department of Canals in regard to 
the traflBc on the Baltic Canal, while the statistics of traflBc 
on inland waters, which have been considerably expanded 
since 1909, are dealt with as federal statistics and in such 
a manner that every stopping place on a river or a lake is 

The statistics of population in the widest sense of the 
term are left almost exclusively to federal treatment, so 
that the Imperial Statistical Office only has to do with the 
compilation and publication of summaries for the Empire. 
This is true of the schedules relating to present conditions, 
that is, the enumeration of population based upon the direct 
interrogation of the inhabitants, as well as of the schedules 
dealing with the movement of population. The statistics 
of intermigration form the only exception. In regard to 
emigration over seas, the Imperial Statistical Office obtains 
the requisite reports annually through the officials of the 
harbors from which the emigrants depart; and statistics 
of arrival at and departure from the municipalities, in so far 
as information is at hand, are collected and compiled by the 
diflEerent cities, and most extensively and also probably most 
carefully by the city of Berlin. 

As a rule, enumerations of population occur quinquen- 
nially and are each time planned in conformity to resolu- 
tions by the federal council after preparatory work by the 
Conference of Statisticians. At enumerations in years 
ending in it is customary to employ more comprehensive 
interrogatories and a wider treatment than in years ending 
in 5. The federal states carry out population enumerations 
partly by means of individual counting cards, as in Prussia, 
partly by means of householders' lists which offer great 
advantages when Hollerith machines are used as was done 
in several federated states when the results of the population 
enumeration of 1910 were compiled. Especially at popula- 
tion enumerations, some of the federated states make fre- 
quent use of the right to increase the questions required by 
the Empire through special questions relating to their do- 


main. Some federated states also combine the current 
statistics of births, marriages and deaths, based upon the 
registration by the state offices, with a more thorough in- 
quiry in regard to divorces and the legitimation of children 
born out of wedlock. 

The conditions of occupation among the inhabitants are 
inquired into at population enumerations, but the results 
are not compiled for the country as a whole as they serve 
solely for purposes of testing the correctness of the entries. 
Statistics of occupation are obtained at special enumerations 
of population that are carried out exactly as the others 
through interrogation of the inhabitants and usually com- 
bined with more detailed investigations concerning the 
industrial and agricultural employments. Such enumera- 
tions of occupation and employment took place in 1882, 
1895 and 1907 and were made in the summer time (June), 
while the population enumerations proper must always be 
made at the beginning of December. The method of organ- 
ization was the same as at enumerations of population. 

Cooperation is sought at both kinds of enumeration and 
not only for the purpose of getting the schedules filled out, 
for the persons who distribute and collect th^m in all parts 
of the Empire are almost without exception voluntary 
workers of the neighborhood who perform this service with- 
out compensation. In this manner a staff of hundreds of 
thousands of enumerators is enlisted which makes it possible 
to complete the enumeration within a few days, so that the 
preliminary population figures for the different communes 
in greater part can be determined and published as early as 
two or three days after the enumeration. 

The results of population enumerations with the classifi- 
cations fixed for the Empire are published in separate vol- 
umes of the Statistics of the German Empire. The different 
federated states usually publish the results in greater detail 
for their own domain, which is also true of the statistics of 
the movement of population. The comprehensive publica- 
tions of the occupation and employment enumerations. 


however, are chiefly to be found among the imperial docu- 
ments, and for the investigation of 1907 occupied altogether 
12,600 pages, ten volumes being given to occupational 
statistics, one volume to agricultural statistics, and ten 
volumes to trade statistics. 

Aside from these enumerations which cover the entire 
field of gainful occupations of every kind and every magni- 
tude, a series of current statistical investigations occur 
relative to single fields of industrial activity, which are under- 
taken partly in connection with revenue laws and partly 
follow from the exercise of certain governmental rights of 
supervision. In this category belong the statistics of the 
production of salt, tobacco, cigarettes, spirits, vinegar, beer, 
sugar, sparkling wines, playing cards, matches, etc., also 
statistics of sea fisheries. The statistics of insurance com- 
panies and of the industrial patents issued are compiled in 
special governmental oflices under which they sort. 

In the last decade statistical inquiry has sought to gain 
an understanding of industrial products for which the direct 
interests specified were not at hand. Only one of the 
branches of private industry has been subjected to statistical 
investigations for some time: the production of mines, salt 
and smelting works which has been ascertained annually 
since 1872 by means of schedules sent to each concern. Of 
late a number of other important industries have been in- 
cluded in the investigations, for instance, those covering 
textiles, chemicals, motor vehicles, mills, cement, leather 
and others. These investigations, however, are not con- 
tinuous but a special resolution is adopted in regard to each, 
and schedules relating to their production in a definite year 
are sent to the individual firms after the government has 
consulted with representatives of the respective industries 
about the form of the schedule. It is not obligatory for the 
proprietors of the industries to fill out the schedules but 
they always do it voluntarily, being assured that the publica- 
tion of the results, which usually follow in the Quarterlies, 


will be undertaken in such a manner that none of the figures 
relating to a single industry can be distinguished. 

The statistics of building activity and dwelling conditions, 
which are especially important from the social point of viewi 
are chiefly collected by the municipal statistical oflSces. 
Reports on these subjects are therefore regularly to be 
found in the publications of the municipal statistical oflSces. 
For a number of cities, however, an annual report is made 
according to a uniform scheme in the Government Labor 
Journal, showing the number, the increase and decrease of 
dwelling houses and tenements as well as the number of 
empty tenements. 

The numbers dealing with the supply of dwelling houses 
and tenements are further applied ifi connection with the 
general enumerations which these municipaUties combine 
with censuses of population. These municipal enumerations 
of real estate and dwellings have become fixed undertakings, 
and comprehensive statistical investigations are at hand 
for the great cities in which the buildings are classified 
according to the number of stories, time of erection, owner- 
ship (whether privately owned by a single individual or by 
several persons, whether public property, etc.), location, 
number of tenements and occupants, etc. The tenements 
themselves are classified according to the number of occu- 
pants, the price of rental, the existence of sub-lessees, and 
other characteristics. In addition, several cities make 
special enumerations of empty tenements once or several 
times during the year. 

Mention has already been made of the investigations for 
purposes of agricultural statistics in connection with the 
great enumerations of occupation and trade at which all, 
even the smallest, farms are included and classified according 
to the use made of the land, the number of live stock, the 
supply of machinery, etc. Aside from these, investigations 
have been undertaken several times relating to the entire 
and not simply to the agricultural utilization of the soil in 
each community, the most recent occurring in 1900 and in 


1913. During the summer the condition of the crops is 
determined every month on the basis of reports from culti- 
vators who furnish them voluntarily; in the spring of every 
year statements are made of the areas devoted to the differ- 
ent crops, and in the fall of the results of the harvest. 
Finally, at the beginning of December of every year, enu- 
merations of live stock are made which regularly include 
horses, cattle, swine and sheep and occasionally donkeys, 
goats, beehives, and the results of breeding. 

The social and labor statistics are yielded by a varied 
assortment of different investigations. To them belong 
the current reports of the operation of the social insurance 
laws which partly are compiled in the Imperial Statistical 
Office and partly in the state insurance office. Prominent 
among them are statistics of the general obligatory sickness 
associations to which all workmen with less than 2,500 
marks income must belong, and those of the disability insur- 
ance which all must take out who have less than 2,000 marks 
income. Moreover, in addition to the comprehensive 
annual reports, monthly statements are collected and pub- 
lished showing the number of members of the sickness 
associations as they permit one to form a judgment of the 
condition of the labor market at any time. In the same 
category belong, among others, censuses of the unemployed 
which in some municipalities are undertaken from time to 
time, and in the kingdom of Saxony annually; furthermore, 
the compilations which have been made several times by 
the division for labor statistics in the Imperial Statistical 
Office relative to strikes and lockouts, the existing organiza- 
tions of employers and employees, wage agreements and 
other wage statistics, the organizations of women, the prices 
of food and other prices. 

The statistics of causes of death assembled in the Imperial 
Department of Health at Berlin are based upon a scheme 
introduced in 1892 and altered in 1904 which groups the 
decedents according to six age classes. More comprehensive 
statements, both in regard to the classification of the causes 


of death and to personal data, are provided by most of the 
federated state and municipal statistical offices. In Ger- 
many, as distinguished from many other states, the state- 
ments of the causes of death are available for all deaths 
because they are entered in the official register of social 
classes upon which the mortality statistics generally are 

In the judicial system of the German Empire both juris- 
diction and procedure were made uniform in most respects 
during the period from 1879 to 1900. Therefore, although 
the administration of justice for the greater part is left to 
the separate states, the premises for uniform judicial sta- 
tistics exist. The German Judicial Statistics, which have 
been published annually by the Department of Justice since 
1881, provide such statistics, first, relative to the activity 
of the judicial offices generally, and secondly, since 1882, in 
regard to the penal oflfences for which sentence was pro- 
nounced, with exception of the simple "transgressions." 
The basis of the criminal statistics proper is obtained by 
means of counting cards which are to be made out by the 
courts in every instance in which a competent verdict is 
pronounced (condemning or acquitting) and to be trans- 
mitted to the Imperial Statistical Office. Comprehensive 
statistics of the administration of justice and of penal insti- 
tutions for their own domain are published by the govern- 
ments of the federated states. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the autonomous finances 
of the federated states differ widely from the imperial fi- 
nances both in regard to their material basis and the method 
of accounting employed, the Imperial Statistical Office, 
in agreement with the statisticians of the federated states, 
began some years ago to compile whatever was comparable 
from the state budgets and the financial reports, and as a 
result annual comparative financial statistics are published 
in the Quarterlies. Differences similar to those to be found 
in the states stand in the way of statistics of communal 
finances for the entire Empire; and until now it has, there- 


fore, been necessary to limit them to comparative statements 
in the relatively simple field of communal debts. Such have 
been published three times in connection with the reports 
of the indebtedness of other incorporated bodies which are 
authorized to issue marketable obligations for indebtedness. 
On the part pf the administrations of large municipalities 
and their statisticians there has been no lack of efiForts to 
make comparative surveys of their financial affairs, and they 
have led, among other things, to repeated publications of a 
financial-statistical character in the Statistical Year Book of 
German Cities. 

The presentations of the separate states in the field of 
comparative financial statistics for their own communes 
are more comprehensive. Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and 
other lederated states have repeatedly made extensive pub- 
lications of this kind in the organs of their statistical offices. 
Beside the general statistics of state commune finances, 
special attention has been devoted to statistics of taxation. 
Only the inheritance tax is dealt with directly and uni- 
formly for the entire Empire, and therefore compiled sta- 
tistically; and it does not include the totality of the estates 
especially because the spouse and direct descendants are not 

The statistics showing the results of the existing taxation 
of income in all the federated states is of much greater 
significance, although the principles on which it rests differ 
and there are various gradations, for they are usually com- 
bined with a more or less complete statement of the income 
of the population. The statistical publications afford a 
current account of the amount and distribution of the in- 
comes based on the imposts for the purpose of income tax. 
This is done with greatest completeness in the kingdom of 
Saxony where all incomes down to the smallest are valued 
and classified according to the personal characteristics of the 
receiver of the income (sex, age, position in the household). 

The system of schools has also been brought into the field 
of joint statistics under an agreement among the statistical 


oflSces, although, in the separate states it is subject to quite 
different regulations. The first investigation occurred in 
1911, and the promise was held out that it would be repeated 
at five-year periods. The statistics in question cover all 
grades of educational establishments from the common 
school to the high school. 

The business activity of savings banks has lately been 
made a subject of joint comparative surveys. The sta- 
tistics of savings banks are collected by the separate states. 

In addition to the statistics of railways already men- 
tioned, another branch of public intercourse must be con- 
sidered, namely, that of the mail service. Formerly the 
postal administrations of the Empire and those of Bavaria 
and Wurttemburg published statistics annually, but they are 
now published triennially. They are based partly upon 
continuous investigation and party upon investigations 
providing samples for some days of the year only in con- 
formity with the agreement among the countries belonging 
to the World Postal Union. 

This brings the enumeration of some of the subjects of 
statistical treatment to an end. It does not and cannot lay 
any claim to completeness, for the statistical tasks are as 
widely scattered as the tasks of the administration itself; 
and there is probably no single field which has not been 
worked up statistically during the long period of the activity 
of many of the numerous statistical oflSces in the German 
Empire and states and cities. 

IV. Relation to International Statistics 

As may be gathered from the preceding, the feature of the 
progressive development of the official statistics in the Ger- 
man Empire since its foundation has been the gradual ex- 
pansion of the comparative statistical presentation which 
at the outset related only to affairs belonging under a uni- 
form administration and has gradually come to include 
affairs that are variously regulated and, therefore, present 


obstacles to a uniform statistical treatment. Perhaps this 
statistical activity is in small part to be ascribed to the 
internal arrangement that has been effected in the peculiar 
relations between the federated governments which are 
quite unlike those of the two other most important fed- 
erated states of the present-day civilized world, namely, the 
United States of America and Switzerland. I mention this 
circumstance simply in order to call to mind that within 
their own domain the German statistics have had to master 
tasks associated with diflSculties similar to those which the 
Imperial Statistical Institute has undertaken. For all 
international statistics are made difficult by the fact that the 
conditions to which the statistics of the separate states 
relate are of a national and not of an international character 
— corresponding to the federated state arrangement of 
affairs in Germany as distinguished from the imperial — and 
that, therefore, the numerical results obtained are in them- 
selves not comparable because they relate to heterogeneous 
things. Such tasks obligate the practical statistician to 
particular care in methods so that he may guard against a 
false interpretation of the statistical results. 

The experiences in this direction had with the German 
statistics in internal affairs should contribute to a greater 
consciousness of the difficulties of international comparisons; 
and there was a time when persons in Germany took a skep- 
tical attitude towards efforts in this direction. Yet of late 
the Imperial Statistical Office has begun to add international 
comparative surveys to its publications, especially to the 
Statistical Year Book. It thus unites itself to the tradition 
of Ernst Engel, who, together with his Belgian colleague 
and exemplar, Quetelet, instigated the international sta- 
tistical congresses whose heir the International Statistical 
Institute became later on. 





By Sir Athelstane Baines, C.S.I. 

Ex-President of the Royal Statistical Society 

The Domesday Book may be called the first landmark 
in British statistics, and for many generations it remained 
the only record of the resources and population of the part 
of England to which it related. In the time of Edward III 
a record was started of the Customs dues received at the 
Port of London; and in the same reign the devastation 
caused by the Black Death led to the preparation of a com- 
prehensive roll, of the nature of the Roman Census, in con- 
nection with the levy of a poll-tax. In the Tudor period 
the almost continuous unrest in western Europe rendered 
it necessary to take stock from time to time of the number 
of men capable of bearing arms, as well as of the fiscal re- 
sources of the country, in anticipation of war. The dread 
of the plague, which was strong in the mind of Henry VIII, 
was probably the origin of the registration of deaths from 
1532, followed by that of baptisms by parish clergymen. 
Towards the end of the sixteenth century, when there was 
a sKght recrudescence of the plague, weekly Bills of Mor- 
tality were published for London, the cause of death being 
investigated and reported by "ancient matrons," and in 
1629 the distinction of sex was added to the return. It was 
not until 1661-62 that these records were made to tell their 
tale, in the statistical sense. In that year Capt. John Grant 
published his "Observations" on the London Bills of Mor- 
tality, thus heading the long list of works on the vital sta- 
tistics of the country. He was the first to bring to light the 
regularity of social phenomena, the excess of male births 
over female, and the subsequent tendency to numerical 
equality of the sexes. The novelty and importance of his 


work had a considerable influence upon those of his con- 
temporaries who were attracted by the subject, of whom 
the best known are Sir William Petty. and Halley, the as- 
tronomer. The former "expressed himself in terms of num- 
ber, weight and measure," in his Political Arithmetick and 
other writings touching upon the resources of the state, and 
he anticipates modern statisticians not only in his methods, 
but also in his loud complaints of the inadequacy of the raw 
material of his calling, and in the urgency of his demand for 
regular official returns of revenue and resources generally. 
His wishes were met in one respect at least shortly after 
his death, for in 1696 there was established a system of cus- 
toms record, under an Inspector General of imports and 
exports, who kept an account of the trade carried on with 
foreign countries and British possessions, with values as- 
signed to the various items in accordance with an official 
list, prepared in 1694, and which, it may here be mentioned 
in passing, was in force for exports down to 1798, and for 
imports until 1854. About the same time Halley pubUshed 
his celebrated "Estimate of the degrees of mortality of man- 
kind," the first life-table prepared for a stationary popula- 
tion, and the returns of the Hearth-tax were used by Gregory 
King and Houghton for their respective estimates of the 
population of the kingdom; estimates which were by no 
means in harmony with each other. If not the birth-place 
of life insurance, England has long been its adopted home; 
and the end of the seventeenth century saw the foundation 
of the earliest British companies for this purpose. They 
were, however, more or less of the nature of lotteries, and 
it was nearly half a century later that the mutual principle 
was introduced. The eighteenth century may be said to 
have seen the birth, in Germany, of statistics as a science, 
and the example of that country in publishing something of 
the nature of official abstracts of revenue, etc., was followed 
in England, in the shape of the Royal Calendar, which first 
appeared in 1730. In the last quarter of the century fig- 
ures were largely pressed into the service of economics by 


Eden, Golquhoun, Playfair and Arthur Young, but the 
middle of this period was more distinguished for its special 
studies, such as those of mortality-rates, than for the treat- 
ment of statistics on the broad lines which had already 
gained considerable currency on the Continent. The very 
name of statistics was introduced from Germany by Dr. 
Zimmermann about 1787, but it was through the compre- 
hensive "Description of Scotland," by Sir John Sinclair, 
that it became popular. This author, as he frankly tells 
us, adopted the word because, being new, he thought it 
would attract readers to his book. Amongst the important 
publications of the end of the century of a statistical char- 
acter, mention must not be omitted of perhaps the best 
known of all, Malthus' works on Population, which suc- 
ceeded in attracting the earnest and often unfriendly atten- 
tion of not only his contemporaries, but those who came 
after him, economists, statisticians and divines, even unto 
this day. A great stimulus to the collection and publica- 
tion of oflScial figures was given in France during the early 
days of the Revolution, owing to the need of this reinforce- 
ment of the foundations of the totally new order of things 
which it was then expected would be established. This 
upheaval of society in France, the great industrial changes 
then in progress in England, and the impetus given later by 
peace to the study of social questions, all contributed to 
create a widespread demand for the statistical informajtion 
by which facts could be appreciated, proposals tested, and 
legislation made effective for attaining its object. Even 
though the "economists, sophisters and calculators" of 
Burke's diatribe had not come entirely into their own, 
they had vastly increased in numbers, experience and intel- 
ligent inquisitiveness. One of the early symptoms of the 
new spirit was the withdrawal in Parliament of the strenu- 
ous opposition which had previously been offered to the 
taking of a census. In 1801 the first decennial enumeration 
took place, and the operations, like those of the second and 
third, were entrusted to the very capable hands of the many- 


sided John Rickman, whose comments upon the results are 
of great statistical merit. In other branches of official re- 
turns, too, there was considerable activity. On the other 
hand, in one or two directions public statistics fell some- 
what into the shade. For instance, the larger life-insurance 
companies had by this time acquired so much experience 
that their chief actuarial advisers felt themselves justified in 
relying upon the information furnished by their own records 
rather than upon that provided by the parish registers; it is 
on the former, therefore, that were based the new and fuller 
life-tables in which mortality was correlated with occupa- 
tion and age. Then, again, political economy took a strong 
bias towards theory and abstract reasoning, and did not, 
to use a modern phrase, invite statistics to endorse the 
cheques drawn by speculation, an attitude which prevailed 
for nearly two generations, until exponents who were experts 
in mathematics as well as in economics entered the field. 

One result of the increased output of oflSicial returns was 
that the capacity of the departments collecting them to 
deal adequately with the figures as statistics was overbur- 
dened, and much valuable material, available in the raw, 
never passed out of that rudimentary stage. Tables were 
prepared in the rough and ready form which served the 
immediate administrative purpose for which they had been 
prescribed, and were then consigned to oblivion on the 
office shelves. It became evident that this waste could and 
should be prevented. In 1832, therefore, a Statistical De- 
partment was added to the Board of Trade, and to it was 
committed the task of "collecting, arranging and publish- 
ing statements relating to the condition, and bearing on 
the various interests of the British Empire." In this way 
official recognition was for the first time accorded to sta- 
tistics as a special branch of inquiry. 

The age, however, was one of discussion, and it was not 
to be expected that food material such as the above should 
be left to official interpretation only, or that efforts should 
not be made from outside to extend the field of investiga- 


tion. The important step towards the organization of sta- 
tistics taken by the Board of Trade, accordingly, was speed- 
ily followed by the introduction of opportunities for testing 
and expanding their utility by means of non-oflScial discus- 
sion. Within a year or two several societies were formed 
for that purpose, and these have since continued to work 
on lines parallel with those of the various state departments, 
but in close touch and cooperation with them. The objects 
and functions of these bodies will be referred to below, in 
sequence of the subject of oflBcial statistics, to which the 
present observations are restricted. 

It is on the material provided by the government that 
statisticians are mainly bound to rely when investigating 
social conditions in their wider aspects, because by no other 
agency can information be systematically collected from so 
extensive a field, or with so near an approach to uniformity 
in the interpretation of the object of the inquiry. The 
eflBciency of o£Scial statistics, therefore, is a matter in which 
the interests of statisticians join hands with those of states- 
men and economists, and it is on the careful scrutiny of the 
results already obtained that improvements are suggested, 
defects corrected, and the path indicated which may lead to 
regions not yet sufficiently explored. The progress made by 
official statistics on these lines after 1832 was both wide and 
rapid, in harmony with the many favorable opportunities 
presented by the circumstances of the next quarter of a cen- 
tury. The general course, of the advance was necessarily 
that of the growth of the country in population, education 
and resources, with the consequently increased complexity 
of social relations. There has also to be taken into account 
the extension of state intervention, by way of control, regu- 
lation or inspection, into matters which were formerly held 
to be outside the purview of the community at large, as repre- 
sented by its government. There is almost everywhere a 
tendency for this intervention to increase, though the 
strength of the inclination varies greatly according to the 
idiosyncrasies of the different states. In the United King- 



dom the system of government by popular representation 
lends itself with unusual ease to legislative extension of 
the functions of the state. The only result of this multipli- 
cation of functions that is relevant to the present subject is 
the inevitable multiplication of statistical returns which it 
involves, a prolificity which was particularly notable towards 
the beginning and the end of the eighty years' period under 

The field of oflScial statistics, then, is practically co-exten- 
sive with that of public administration, the development of 
which is a subject outside the compass of this review. It 
will be enough to refer to a few of the principal landmarks 
of the last eighty years in which the connection between 
legislation and statistics has been especially direct and close, 
and these may serve to indicate the general trend of the 
action taken by the state, intended, or likely, to provide the 
material for scientific analysis. 

First in statistical importance comes the establishment in 
1837 of civil registration of vital statistics, extended to Scot- 
land in 1853 and to Ireland about ten years later. Registra- 
tion was made compulsory in 1874. The decennial census 
is placed under the Registrars General, but a special Act is 
passed for each enumeration. The census of production was 
taken under an Act passed in 1907, and was conducted by 
the Board of Trade. 

Statistics of local government and taxation are submitted 
by municipal and county authorities under various Acts, of 
which the principal are those of 1835, 1882 and 1899, for 
towns, and 1888 and 1894 for counties and small rural areas. 
The County Council Act for Ireland was passed in 1898. 
Before these enactments, returns were furnished by various 
authorities on no uniform system. 

Closely connected with the above is the sanitary adminis- 
tration of urban and rural areas, which is now regulated 
mainly by Acts passed in 1872-75, requiring the submission 
of elaborate returns to the government. 

Elementary education is regulated in England by the Act 


of 1870, extended in 1902, and supplemented by many other 
measures relating to special branches of education. The 
first connection of the state with education, however, goes 
back, as in Scotland, to 1839, when public funds were first 
allotted to this object. The Irish system is of slightly earlier 
date, and more centralized, but full statistics are prepared 
in aU three kingdoms. The Poor Law of 1834 had its 
statistical side as well as its administrative, though it was 
not until 1848 that the returns under it were completely 
organized. Statistics on the subject, however, had been 
collected to some extent, by local authorities, for many years 
before the reform of the law. 

The protective, or, as it has been called by some, the 
paternal legislation referred to above, yields a large crop of 
statistics of inspection, control, accidents, wages, and the 
like. The measures best known, perhaps, are those relating 
to factories and mines, which date, statistically, from the 
forties, but have been very often amended, extended and 
consolidated. Of the now numerous friendly societies, those 
connected with building were the first to be recognized by the 
law. From 1840 onwards, however, registration has been 
extended to all, and annual returns of membership, expen- 
diture and resources are published by government. In 1875 
trade linions and similar institutions were placed under 
registration, and have since furiushed valuable statistics 
regarding wages and employment. 

Within the last few years the volume of periodical returns 
has received substantial accretion from the institution of old 
age pensions (1908), distress committees (1905), labor 
exchanges, and national health insurance (1911). The same 
may be said of the extension of municipal trading, of housing 
of the working classes, inspection of drugs, food, etc., within 
the last twenty years. 

As already stated, the subjects above mentioned have 
been selected merely as landmarks, and they occupy but a 
comparatively small portion of the field of national statistics. 
There must be taken into account, too, the voluminous 


returns statutorily required from railways, insurance and 
joint-Stock companies, bankers, the post office and its 
branches dealing with telegraphs, telephones and savings- 
banks, all originating since 1833, the year taken as the start- 
ing-point of this review. Then, again, the fiscal changes in 
the early forties and in 1910, the growth of shipping, the 
organization of agricultural returns in 1866 and 1889, the 
establishment of a Labor Department in 1886, and legisla- 
tion regarding the tenure of land in each of the three king- 
doms from 1871 onwards, have substantially increased the 
rich statistical harvest garnered by official agency and sus- 
ceptible of being made digestible by the general consumer. 

The task of collecting, arranging and publishing this mass 
of information is distributed amongst the diflPerent depart- 
ments of government in a way, partly historical, partly dic- 
tated by financial or official convenience, but in many cases 
requiring an explanation not inherent in the nature of the 
subject. The administration is thoroughly departmental; 
each of the great offices arose and grew up independently of 
the rest. As new duties are imposed, their performance is 
allocated to a subordinate branch organized for the purpose 
within an existing office; or another department, equally 
independent, is created. 

Of the five departments under the Principal Secretaries of 
State, the Home Office is the only one which needs mention 
here, as the India Office, also a large purveyor of statistics, 
will be dealt with elsewhere. There are then the five admin- 
istrative boards, of which the Boards of Trade, Agriculture, 
Education and Local Government furnish the bulk of the 
administrative returns not emanating from the Home Office. 
Financial accounts and statements are in the charge of the 
Treasury, and the National Debt, Inland Revenue and Cus- 
toms and Excise, are under special Commissions. A brief 
conament upon the respective functions of these departments 
will serve to indicate the share of each in the national statis- 
tical output. 

The Home Office stands first of the statistical departments 


in both seniority and official rank. It dates from 1782, and 
was established upon its present footing in the first year of 
the nineteenth century. As to its functions, it has been 
called the residuary legatee of the other branches of govern- 
ment, in that it used to succeed to all duties not provided for 
in the more specialized departments. The statistics which 
it now publishes are those relating to crime and litigation, 
prisons and reformatories, and metropolitan and county 
police, for England and Wales. For the United Kingdom as 
a whole, it issues the detailed account of the inspection of 
factories and workshops, and that relating to coal and other 
mines. To these last some figures of output and prices are 
added, together with corresponding details for the principal 
foreign countries. A statistical officer is attached to the 
Department, and the returns of civil litigation, bankruptcy 
and the like are reviewed annually by a legal expert. In 
Scotland there is a separate Commission for Prisons, with a 
statistical officer in the establishment. The annual returns 
for prisons, crime, litigation and reformatories, etc., are 
issued under the authority of the Secretary for Scotland. In 
Ireland, a General Prisons Board was set up in 1877, and 
there are separate departments dealing with the constabu- 
lary, reformatories, inebriates and the other matters which, 
in England, are placed under the Home Office. The statis- 
tics for all these are published with an annual review by the 
Registrar General for Ireland. 

Next to the Home Department, the statistical offices to 
be noticed here are those known as Boards, a title which 
implies the collective responsibiHty of several highly-placed 
officials of state. The Board, however, never meets, and the 
departments are conducted by one or two salaried represent- 
atives in Parhament. The Local Government Board was 
established in 1871; that of Agriculture in 1889, and the 
Education Board in 1899. 

There has been a Board of Trade since 1660. In 1786 it 
was constituted a Committee of the Privy Council, and its 
present title was statutorily assigned to it as late as 1862. 


From its original functions in connection with the collection 
of information about trade and commerce, it has advanced 
to a highly important position in regard to transport, labor, 
and the supervision of a considerable number of statutes of 
very detailed appKcation. For many years after 1833, when, 
as above stated, a special Statistical Branch was added to it, 
this Board was the only government department in which 
official statistics were dealt with as a special subject, and to 
this day, it stands out as the premier representative of the 
scientific interpretation of public returns. The Statistical 
Branch has had the good fortune of being directed by a 
succession of eminent experts. It was started by Porter, 
by whom the incoherent mass of periodical tables then pre- 
pared was for the first time reduced to orderly and compre- 
hensive returns, accompanied by lucid explanations of the 
meaning and limitations of the figures. Moreover, he took 
advantage of the wide scope afforded by his commission to 
collect returns from other sources, adding them to his review, 
and giving to it a comparative character by including the 
figures for a series of years. His successor, Valpy, started 
the series of Annual Abstracts which now form a necessary 
part of the equipment of every student of the statistics of 
British commerce and economics. To these names should 
be added those of Giffen and Bateman in more modern 
times. In addition to the returns of trade and shipping, 
this Board is responsible for those relating to railways and 
tramways, for the registration of assurance and joint-stock 
companies, for the figures of bankruptcy and emigration and 
immigration. It supervises the merchant-shipping acts and 
those relating to weights and measures, patents and trade- 
marks. It issues special tables of coal and metals produced, 
exported or imported, and compiles the index-numbers of 
the main articles of foreign trade and home consumption. 
The valuable information received by the Foreign Office 
from British consuls about the commercial conditions of 
the countries where they are serving, is also made available 
to the public in a convenient form by this Department. 


The Labor Department of the Board of Trade was started 
on a very modest scale in 1886, but has since developed into 
a large and important center of information as to wages, 
employment and conditions of the wage-earning classes gen- 
erally. It still relies mainly upon the returns obtained from 
the trade unions and friendly and cooperative societies, but 
of late it has carried through extensive independent inquir- 
ies, such as that into earnings and hours of work, and, on a 
still wider basis, the first census of production. The super- 
vision of the newly created Labor Exchanges has also been 
added to its duties. An Annual Abstract of Labor Statis- 
tics is compiled in this Department, containing not only the 
returns of wages and employment collected as above men- 
tioned, but statistics bearing upon the condition of the wage- 
earner and other classes obtained by other offices. 

The Local Government Board ranks next to the Board of 
Trade in the number and variety of the duties it has to per- 
form, which are all accompanied by multifarious tables. It 
represents, since 1871, the old Poor LaW Board, with the 
addition of some duties connected with sanitation and local 
government previously performed by a Committee of the 
Privy Council or by the Home Office. Up to 1834 there was 
no central supervision of local authorities, but in that year 
the Poor Law Commission exercised certain powers in that 
direction, which were somewhat extended and reorganized 
in 1847, when the Commission became the Board. The 
centraKzation was made more complete in 1871, and the 
tendency has since been to give the government a tighter 
hold on the reins. This implies, naturally, a larger demand 
for statistics by which the local administration can be tested. 
The returns thus obtained enter, of course, into great detail 
of area and subject. In England and Wales, to which the 
jurisdiction of this Board is confined, there are more than 
25,000 authorities, by each of which annual statistics of some 
kind have to be rendered. The general heads under which 
are grouped the statistics issued by this Board are Pauper- 
ism, Municipal and County administration, and the working 


of special acts imposing duties of inspection or supervision. 
As the successor of the Poor Law Board, the present Depart- 
ment exercises complete control over the administration of 
those laws, and prescribes, in consequence, the periodical 
returns to be submitted by the local bodies. The most 
important of these statistics are published in an annual 
report. Separate volumes are issued on local administra- 
tion, the taxation and valuation of municipal and county 
areas, and the reports of local medical officers of health. 
These last are prescribed, like those under the Poor Law, by 
the Board itself, under the Public Health Acts. The volume 
of local returns has been materially increased within the last 
few years by the extension of municipal trading, in the way 
of water-supply, tramways, lighting, the adoption of the 
Acts relating to libraries, baths and washhouses, the housing 
of the working-classes, the Town-planning Act, the care of 
asylums, and, since 1902, the greater part of public instruc- 
tion. To these must be added the returns required under 
the Unemployed Workmen's Act, the Vaccination Acts and 
those relating to the inspection of food, drugs, dairies, etc. 
The returns from the health officers are dealt with by medi- 
cal experts, and the rest are compiled and prepared for pub- 
lication by a special statistical officer attached to the Board. 
Officially, the B,egistrar General is under the Local Govern- 
ment Board, but in practice, he works independently. Scot- 
land and Ireland have each their Board on much the same 
lines as that for England, and in each case the returns now 
issued by the Board were, previous to its creation, prepared 
by various detached offices. In Ireland, however, this work 
was done by the Registrar General, from 1865 to 1873, when 
the Board was established. 

The Board of Agriculture is of recent creation, but ever 
since the end of the eighteenth century inquiries, often par- 
tial and incomplete, have been made by commissions, 
societies and others, to collect information about the area 
under the main crops and the average yield per acre. The 
official returns of areas date from 1866 only, and the esti- 


mated produce per acre, from 1884. The return of area is 
voluntary, and is invited by schedules circulated and col- 
lected by the officials of Inland Revenue. For the produce- 
estimates, salaried experts are employed. The results are 
examined and compiled by a trained statistical staff. The 
supervision of the fisheries was only added to the duties of 
the Agricultural Department in 1903. Scotland and Ireland 
have each a Board of Agriculture. In the former country 
statistics on the subject were collected from 1850 by a non- 
official society, subsidized by the government. In Ireland, 
the corresponding returns were published by the Registrar 
General as early as 1854, and by the Agricultural Depart- 
ment from 1900. 

In connection with the agricultural statistics may be 
mentioned those relating to meteorology. These were at 
first under a Committee of the Privy Council. In 1854 
they were made over to the Board of Trade, and subse- 
quently placed under a director and committee, appointed 
by the Treasury, by whom the returns are now issued. 
There is a separate Board of Education for each of the three 
kingdoms, owing to differences in the conditions and organ- 
ization. In England, some statistics of attendance, etc., 
were furnished by the National Society from 1819. In 
1832 public money was first granted to elementary schools, 
and the government reserved the right of inspection. Seven 
years later the supervision of the schools was assigned to 
a committee of the Privy Council, which became a Depart- 
ment in 1856, receiving the Science and Art Department 
from the all-embracing Board of Trade. From 1870 
onwards the work supervised by it has tended to increase 
continuously with each of the numerous acts modifying the 
system in one or other of its branches. In 1899, therefore, 
the Department became a Board, under a President, and 
possibly other members. The work of the committee super- 
vising educational matters for Scotland was transferred to 
a separate Board on the creation in 1885 of the office of 
Secretary for Scotland. As in England, statistics of ele- 


mentary schools had been required as soon as public funds 
were allotted to their maintenance, but full returns date 
from 1872. In Ireland the control, which is closer than in 
Great Britain, is vested in a National Board, with a Board 
for Intermediate Education. .Technical education is under 
the Board of Agriculture. The census, in this island, 
includes certain educational details not in the British sched- 
ule, and these form part of the Registrar General's series of 

The Departments charged with the collection of the 
revenue are under the Treasury, and, with the exception of 
the post office, have no Parliamentary representative in 
authority over them. The post office publishes all the re- 
turns of the postal service, with those of the telegraphs 
and telephones now under it. The financial side of the two 
last is dealt with partly departmentally and partly in the 
Treasury accounts. The savings banks under the post 
office have also their relations with the general finance of 
the country, whilst the other class of similar banks, known 
as the trustee savings banks, are under an inspecting office 
and the Commissioners of National Debt. 

The Department of Inland Revenues, established in 1849, 
is in charge of statistics of great interest, apart from their 
fiscal importance. It collects the estate, legacy, and succes- 
sion duties; stamp duties and fees paid in stamps; the land 
tax; the inhabited house-duty; the income tax, and, until 
1909, the excise duties. Since 1910 the new land valuation 
operations have been placed under this office. Its annual 
report, which, with a break of a few years, has appeared 
since 1857, is a valuable summary of the direct taxation of 
the country. 

The Customs Office, in some form or other, has existed 
for centuries. It is now a commission, subordinate, as aboye 
stated, to the Treasury, and closely connected, statistically, 
with the Board of Trade, but with its own statistical branch. 
In addition to the collection of the revenue from which it 
derives its title, it exercises many duties in connection 


with shipping, seamen, passengers, ahens, and emigrants, 
not to mention those involved in the collection of excise, 
now placed in its charge, including, as it does, the adminis • 
tration of the Old Age Pension Acts. In its strictly depart- 
mental capacity, it publishes the returns of trade and 
navigation, with special returns of coal, cotton, bullion, and 
trade with Ireland. This, however, is but a fraction of its 
work, as its widespread staff of excise oflBcers is utilized to 
collect information for the use of other departments, such as 
details of corn sold in local markets, the trade in minerals 
and agricultural produce, the foreign passenger traffic, and 
proceedings under the Adulteration of Food Acts, etc. 
On the other hand, for the last few years, the collection of 
license fees under certain heads has been taken from it, 
and made over to local authorities, who submit their returns 
elsewhere. In connection with the Labor Department of 
the Board of Trade, the returns of friendly societies were 
mentioned above. The fountain-head of these statistics, 
however, is the General Registry of such societies, which 
was estabUshed in 1846 to certify the rules passed by these 
bodies. In its present form it dates from 1875, and pub- 
lishes the annual statements of number, membership, 
resources and expenditure of all industrial and provident 
societies, including trade unions, whose registration is 

This enumeration of the statistical departments of the 
state may fittingly be brought to a close with a reference 
to the great provider of vital statistics, the Registrar Gen- 
eral. In his office are collected, examined and compiled 
the returns from all the subordinate registering offices 
throughout England and Wales. The details are studied by 
a special statistical expert, usually a member of the medical 
profession, who prepares an annual review, in which are 
given, also, comparative figures for the rest of the British 
Empire and the chief foreign countries. Every ten years, 
a supplementary report is issued in which the figures for 
the preceding decade are actuarially examined, and compared 


with those of previous periods. The Registrar General is 
also in charge of all the census operations. His compeer in 
Scotland exercises similar functions. In Ireland, the Reg- 
istrar General is more of a head statistical oflBcer to the local 
government, and the census, as already indicated, takes a 
wider sweep than in Great Britain. 

The above survey of the origin and development of the 
oflBces, among which the statistical world of the government 
is distributed, will serve to bring to notice the most promi- 
nent characteristic of the organization of British adminis- 
tration, that is, its marked departmentalism. Every new 
duty undertaken by the state is assigned its place in the 
official hierarchy, and though combination, dissolution and 
creation are not rare, the atmosphere of departmental 
independence is not disturbed by the change. The ten- 
dency of the legislation of recent years has been to increase 
this aloofness of department from department. An act, 
instead of leaving the legislature complete in its provision 
for detail, is now passed with none but general provisions 
in the text, the power to issue executive orders having the 
force of law on all matters of detail being delegated to the 
department placed in charge of the working of the enact- 
ment. Under this addition of power and responsibility, 
the department tends to grow more self-centered and ab- 
sorbed in its own sphere of action. Each department, 
then, pursues its work regardless of that of the rest. It 
prescribes its own returns, excellently devised, no doubt, 
for the immediate purpose in view; and when the amount 
of material rolling in has grown enough to justify special 
attention, the department throws up a statistical branch, 
in which the returns are examined and published in strict 
accordance with departmental needs. This tendency is 
not without its advantages, in that it gives considerable 
scope to expert knowledge, and increases the interest in the 
work of those tied down to it. On the other hand, where, 
as in the United Kingdom, there is no central controlling 
or consultative authority over official statistics, depart- 


mental independence inevitably leads to duplication, over- 
lapping and incongruity. The correlation of one set of 
figures with another is often made impossible by some vital 
difference in detail, due solely to the fact that the returns 
were severally prepared by those not in consultation with 
each other. As far back as 1877 this defect was made the 
ground of an inquiry by a special Committee on Depart- 
mental Statistics generally. The Treasury Minute appoint- 
ing the committee, after stating that there was great room 
for improvement in the system on which official statistics 
were prepared went on, "Indeed, it can scarcely be said 
that at present there is any system at all. Each depart- 
ment compiles and publishes from time to time information 
more or less detailed with regard to the business with 
which it is concerned, but there appears to be no fixed 
principles laid down for the guidance of the several offices, 
and the consequence is that but little harmony or coherence 
exists between the various classes of statistics thus published, 
comparison between them is often impossible, and their 
practical utility is thereby most seriously impaired. . . . 
The chief vices of the present practice would seem to be 
a want of condensation, which leads to obscurity in the 
statistics themselves, and to waste in the printing of them, 
and a want of uniformity, which leads to positive confusion; 
and although with varying laws and varying customs pre- 
vailing in the different divisions of the United Kingdom 
it may not be possible to introduce absolute harmony with 
the returns relating to each, my Lords believe that much 
might be done to simplify and systematize, the statistical 
information which is now suppUed from official sources, if 
the subject were to be fully and authoritatively inquired 

Many useful suggestions were elicited by this committee, 
but the inquiry was not exhaustive, nor were the members 
unanimous in their recommendations, on which, accordingly, 
no action was taken. To a great extent, therefore, the 
strictures passed thirty seven years ago are by no meaug 


obsolete, and the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 
contains ample testimony to the shortcomings of the official 
statistics of the present day. There are signs, however, 
of improvement in the returns of the more recently created 
departments, and the work of the statistical branches of 
the Boards of Trade and Agriculture needs fear no compari- 
son with that done in other coimtries. It should always 
be borne in mind, in discussing official statistics, that they 
are intended for guidance in the treatment of single ques- 
tions, and that it is essential that they should be ready with 
as little delay as possible. The work is thus necessarily 
specialized, and leaves but little time for deliberate analysis 
on scientific principles, involving, as it must do, wide com- 
parison and the application of theory. This method of 
treatment has made rapid strides almost within the last 
generation, whereas the official machinery takes long to 
alter. Again, the spirit of statistical investigation is far 
keener and more widely spread now than when most of the 
government returns were devised, and it has been said, 
with much truth, that more use is made of these returns 
outside the offices than within. The criticism brought to 
bear from outside has not been without result in individual 
cases, but without the controlling influence of an authori- 
tative central office, it is difficult to see how statistical 
interdependence between the numerous departments of 
state can be secured. 

Changing now the point of view, the above survey of the 
statistics to be found in each state department may be 
conveniently supplemented by an indication of the depart- 
ment in which each main branch of statistics may be foimd. 
The following list includes the principal subjects in question, 
without entering into detail unnecessarily in so general a 
review. The grouping is under the heads: Population and 
Health; Social and Moral; Production; Commercial; Finan- 
cial and Fiscal, and Industrial. 


Census: The Registrars General. 

Vital Statistics: The same, but special returns for Anny and Navy. 

Sanitation: Local Government Board, on reports by local medical officers of 

Lunacy: Local Government Board, from reports by municipal and county author- 

Emigration, etc.: Board of Trade, on reports from Customs Commission. For 
Ireland a special report is issued by the Registrar General. 

Aliens: Home Office, on returns from Customs Commission. 

Municipal and Local Administration: Local Government Board. 

Educatiian: England, Board of Education; Scotland, Committee of Council of 
Education; Ireland, Commission of National Education, Intermediate Educa- 
tion Board, and for Technical Education, the Board of Agriculture. 

RefomuUories, etc.: Home Office, Scottish Office, and in Ireland, Registrar General. 

Crime, Litigation and Bankruptcy: Home Office, Scottish Office, and for Ireland, 
the Registrar General. 

Prisons: England and Scotland, Prisons Commission; Ireland, General Prisons 
Board. Returns summarized and published by Home Office, Scottish Office, 
and for Ireland, the Registrar General. 

Friendly Societies, etc.: England and Scotland, the General Registry of Friendly 

Old Age Pensions: The Customs and Excise Department. 

Pauperism: The Local Government Boards. 

National Health Insurance: The Commission, under the Treasury. 

Agriculture and Fisheries: The Boards of Agriculture and Fisheries. 

Mines: Home Office, from returns of Inspectors. Special returns of production, 
export, prices, of coal, by Board of Trade. 

Factories, etc.: Home Office, from Inspectors' reports. Municipal inspection of 
workshops reported to Local Government Board. 

Manufactures: No periodical returns. Census of Production (1906-1912), pub- 
lished by Board of Trade. 

Prices: Board of Trade; Agricultural produce. Board of Agriculture. 

Trade, Shipping, Navigation: Customs Department, summarized by Board of 

Joint-Stock Companies: Board of Trade. Windings-up, Home Office. 

Insurance Companies: Annual retiurns by Board of Trade. 

Railways: Board of Trade. 

Tramways: Board of Trade (Revenue- working); Local Government Board 
(cash accounts). 

Post, Telegraph and Telephone: Postmaster General's reports. 

Coinage: Master of the Mint. 

Bank cf England: The Governors. 

Clearing Houses: Annual and other reports. 

Savings Banks: Post Office. Trustee Savings Banks, Inspector's report. Sum- 
marized by Registrar of Friendly Societies. 

National Revenue and Expenditure, Debt, etc.: The Treasury, Parliamentary 


Taxation: Direct, Inlaud Revenue Commissioners. 

Indirect, Customs and Excise Commissioners. 
Licenses: Customs and Excise Commission and, for Assigned Licenses, the Local 

Government Board. 
Local Taxation, Rates, Loans, etc.: Local Government Board. 
Wages, Hours of Labor, Fluctuatiotis, etc.: Board of Trade (Labor Department). 
Trade-Boards: The same. 
Unempltyment Insurance: The same. (Distress Committees), Local Government 

Trade Unions: Registry of Friendly Societies. , 
Strikes, Conciliation, etc.: Board of Trade (Labor Department). 
General Statistical Abstracts: Board of Trade collects from all Departments of 

Government, compiles and publishes: 

1. United Kingdom; Comparative for 15 years. 

2. British Dominions and Colonies; as above. 

3. The British Empire; summarized from the above. 

4. Principal Foreign Countries; on same lines, aa far as possible, as for 

British coimtries. 

5. Labor Statistics; for the United Kingdom; summarizes returns from 

other Departments on all subjects bearing upon the condition of the 
wage-earning classes. 

The position of non-oflScial statistical work remains to be 
reviewed. There is no reason to refer in this survey to 
the monumental work of the great investigators of the past, 
or even to that of authors happily still living. The class of 
statistical publications which needs mention here is that 
which is in current progress, yielding fruit in the present, 
and likely to go on so doing. Into this category fall the 
periodical returns of the Institute of Bankers, the British 
Iron Association, Lloyd's, the Corn-market Journals, the 
reports upon the cotton trade by Messrs. Ellison, Tattersall 
and others, and on the woollen trades by Messrs. Helmuth 
and Schwartz, all of which have been pubhshed for many 
years, and are accepted as authoritative in the trades. 
There are then the well-known Price-Index-Numbers of 
Mr. Sauerbeck and the Economist newspaper, and the 
annual commercial review of the latter. Several other 
publications of the same character and repute might be 
quoted, but, with the above as samples, the nature of the 
material can be appreciated. 

The next part of the general subject is that which is con- 


cerned with the societies and associations instituted for the 
express study of statistics, to the rise of which reference 
was made in connection with the establishment of the 
Statistical Department of the Board of Trade, in 1832. 
The first body to move in the matter was the British Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Science, which formed a 
Statistical Section in 1833. The same year a Statistical 
Society was founded in Manchester. The enterprise was 
hedged round with somewhat stringent precautionary 
restrictions, suggested by the political atmosphere of the 
time. What with the Reform Bill and other important 
Parliamentary questions, party feeling ran unusually high 
and hot. One of the main objects of a scientific society, 
therefore, was to keep as far as possible aloof from partici- 
pation in discussions which could be at all connected with 
the "dreary world" of politics. Thus the studies of the 
British Association were limited to "Facts relating to com- 
munities of men which are capable of being expressed by 
numbers, and which promise, when suflSciently multiplied, 
to indicate general laws/' Several men of eminence on 
statistics chafed at being thus relegated to the position of 
"hewers and drawers for political economy and philosophy," 
so they joined in promoting the Statistical Society of Lon- 
don, now the Royal Statistical Society, with the view of 
providing therein a wider scope for their inquiries. Their 
hopes were frustrated, for a time at least, by the same spirit 
of caution which dictated the limitations imposed upon 
the earlier institutions. The functions of the new Society, 
as announced in its Prospectus, were to "procure, arrange 
and publish facts calculated to illustrate the condition and 
prospects of society. " The door left open by the last four 
words should be noted. In a society which met for discus- 
sion, it was obviously impossible to exclude opinion or 
speculation. In 1840, accordingly, the definition of the 
objects and work of the Society was framed in general 
accordance with the view taken in the present day of the 
functions of statistical investigation, and about seventeen 



years later, the self-denying motto on the Journal, Aliis 
exterendum, disappeared. It is left to the Council to see that 
questions of the day, involving statistical considerations, 
are put before the Society in a duly scientific form, free 
from prejudice and partisan bias. In the early days of the 
Society, following the precedent set by Manchester, original 
investigations were conducted, through Standing Commit- 
tees, into questions such as crime, education, wages, and the 
like. It was soon found, however, that it was preferable 
to work through committees appointed by the Council for 
special inquiries, and reporting to the Society. Amongst 
subjects thus selected have been, of late years, the meat 
and milk supply of the country, the census arrangements in 
the United Kingdom and those for other parts of the Empire, 
the registration of still-births, and the like. 

In one noteworthy characteristic the Royal Statistical 
Society has been studiously consistent from its foundation, 
the maintenance of close and friendly relations with the 
official departments chiefly concerned with statistics, to wit, 
the Boards of Trade and Agriculture and the Registrars 
General. Many of the most distinguished and active 
members of the Society have belonged to one or other of 
these offices, and, conversely, few official statisticians of 
note have not held office in the Society. This association 
of experienced officials with private investigators of estab- 
lished reputation has materially contributed to effective 
discussion, improved methods of observation, and a wider 
field of inquiry in different branches of the public service. 

The Manchester Statistical Society preceded, as above 
stated, that formed in London, on much the same lines. 
Original inquiries through committees into social questions 
formed an important part of its work. Its general tendency 
seems to have been less statistical, in the technical sense, 
than towards economics and social science. Much the same 
may be said of the Dublin Society, founded in 1847 by 
Archbishop Whateley and others, for statistics and social 
inquiry. Unfortunately, such inquiries are apt, in Ireland, 


to assume an ineradicably political character, wherein 
statistics occupy but a very subordinate position. 

Training in statistical theory and methods is a compara- 
tively young plant in the United Kingdom, and still rare 
and somewhat tender. It is efficiently carried out at Cam- 
bridge and at University College, London, and at the London 
School of Economics and Political Science. In the public 
service its value is recognized by the introduction for special 
subjects of experts of proved merit in non-official work, or 
by the delegation of employees who may have shown marked 
aptitude for statistical study either in the course of their 
official duties or by contributing papers to statistical, eco- 
nomic or actuarial societies. It is worth while to take into 
consideration, also, whilst on the general subject, the great 
increase in the use made of statistics in the monthly and 
quarterly periodicals, in the popular treatment of social 
questions of the day, which has been one of the noteworthy 
features of late years in this class of literature. Of course 
a good deal of this material does not bear the hall-mark 
of scientific training, but more often than not, the authors 
are connected with some one of the numerous societies 
where these studies are fostered and discussed. 

From the statistics of the country itself, the transition is, 
naturally, to their relation to those of other countries. 
Statistical investigation is based, of course, upon comparison; 
and the wider the field siu-veyed, that is, the more abundant 
the evidence bearing upon different aspects of the subject, 
the more valuable will be the results. This truism, as it will 
appear to statisticians, is nowhere more fully appreciated 
than in the heart of an empire made up of communities 
scattered all over the world, and containing every variety 
of race, and every stage of civilization and social develop- 
ment. It was only to be expected, therefore, that the interest 
in British possessions abroad which took shape in the in- 
structions to the Board of Trade in 1832, should be extended 
to the study of the corresponding information for other 
countries, especially those of the West. The Great Exhibi- 


tion of 1851 brought to London a large concourse of men of 
science, and thereby afforded a good opportunity for dis- 
cussing the prospects of a periodical consultation of statis- 
ticians in the capitals of Europe. The prime mover in the 
matter was the veteran statistician Quetelet, and on his 
initiative the first Congress was held in Brussels, in 1853. 
Between that year and 1876 eight more were held, but after 
that the enterprise faded out, owing to causes into which it 
is not necessary to enter. Statistical science undoubtedly 
profited considerably from these meetings, especially by the 
discussion of the possibilities and difficulties of international 
comparison. In 1885, accordingly, the Jubilee meeting of 
the Royal Statistical Society gave the opportunity of reviv- 
ing, in the place of its birth, the International Congress. 
It was determined to found an International Statistical Insti- 
tute on lines rather different from those of its predecessor. 
The project was heartily welcomed by the leading statis- 
ticians of Europe and America, most of whom have, at one 
time or another, taken part in the biennial Congresses 
which have been held regularly since 1887. The cause of 
international comparison has been as vigorously promoted 
by this Institute as by its forerunner, and the suggestions 
thrown out in the form of resolutions and specimen tables 
have had practical and beneficial results. In England, the 
effect given to them has been perhaps more restricted than 
in countries where administration is less decentralized, or 
official statistical authority is more specialized and concen- 
trated in fewer hands. Nevertheless, efforts have not been 
spared to render this intercomparison possible in the case 
of vital statistics, trade and agricultural returns, and certain 
other subjects, in the annual Abstracts published by the 
Registrars General and the Boards of Trade and Agriculture. 
There are, however, it must be admitted, important points 
regarding which the British official statistician maintains 
an independent attitude, generally for reasons connected 
with administration or definition. The cooperation of the 
British government with the Institute is confined to the 


recognition of an official status on the part of one or two 
statisticians in the public service who would otherwise 
attend the Congress in the capacity of private members; 
and when the Institute meets in London, it is on the invi- 
tation, and as the guests of, the Royal Statistical Society. 
The connection of the government with the more recently 
formed International Agricultural Institute is more direct, 
though confined to a single department. 

The general conclusions as to British statistical work 
which the above survey may be said to indicate are, that 
the raw material, whether official or other, is abundant and 
carefully collected. The former, however, falls considerably 
short of its full potential utility for want of coordination 
and centralized supervision generally. Except in a few 
special branches, too, it is given to the public without 
having received the sifting, testing and correlation which 
modern methods of analysis and comparison would apply 
to it. Private investigation is active, though inclined to 
specialization on somewhat narrow lines, and often, like 
official work, it suffers from insufficient acquaintance with 
the theoretic basis of scientific method, for the acquisition 
of which opportunities are not yet adequate. Nevertheless, 
the number of social problems forcing themselves upon 
public notice, the keener and more general interest taken in 
them, and the growing appreciation of the need of a statis- 
tical foundation for all attempts at their solution, make 
the outlook of statistics by no means unfavorable to sub- 
stantial progress. 



By Dr. Ladislaus von Buday 


When the Hungarian nation reached Europe as one of the 
last great waves in the wandering of the peoples, its Western 
neighbors had aheady made a certain amount of progress in 
the attainment of civilization. However, with a rapidity 
born of its zeal, the nation, being very receptive to culture, 
soon overcame this handicap. Thus its culture moved 
parallel to that of the West during the Middle Ages — 
although foreign war and internal strife frequently put its 
strength to a severe test — and it was among the first to 
experience the great spiritual rebirth of the Renaissance. 
Mathias Corvinus, the king of the Hungarians, like the great 
rulers of the Cinquecento, gave an appreciative reception 
and liberal patronage to science, literature, and art. 

Unfortunately, however, Hungary was able to enjoy the 
blessings of this advanced culture for but a short time; two 
troubled centuries followed, filled with continual and ener- 
vating struggle with the Ottoman power. The more for- 
tunate West was protected from a Turkish invasion by 
the resistance of Hungary. While the Western states were 
able to progress uninterruptedly in education and material 
strength, Hungary bled from so many wounds that for a 
long time it was stagnant in its development in every field. 

That is why Hungary was no longer to be found in the 
front rank during the renewed spiritual activity of the 
eighteenth century and during the struggles which accom- 
panied the economic movements of the nineteenth century; 
that is why, in the rivalry of the nations, this country, in 
spite of its most zealous efforts, must still find that it can 


regain but slowly the strength which it has lavished upon 
centuries of combat for Europe. 

Today, perhaps, this is perceptible only in the economic 
field, where the gathering of strength must take place slowly 
and gradually; during the eighteenth century even the flood 
of spiritual movements had a feebler and less stimulating 
effect upon this country. 

Also, the desire and the need for statistical investiga- 
tion did not arise so early in Hungary as in the Western 
European states. It is true that one or two savants turned 
with interest to the new study, but their activities did not 
awaken great enthusiasm. It is possible, indeed, to mention 
men belonging to as early a period as the seventeenth cen- 
tury, who, in works which were doubtless little read, stored 
up statistical information. It was not until the end of the 
eighteenth century that the first statistical work of this 
nature appeared from the pen of Martin Schwartner, a pro- 
fessor of the University of Pest; this measures up to the 
standards of statistics obtaining at that time, and is dis- 
tinguished both for richness of material and for excellence 
of treatment. 

The store of data contained in this, the first body of Hun- 
garian statistics, was not yet the result of official statistical 
work, but was based partly on investigations made for 
administrative purposes, partly on private studies by the 

Soon afterward official statistics for Hungary came into 
existence, although they did not arise in that country; they 
were collected under the auspices of the Imperial and Royal 
Direction of Administrative Statistics at Vienna. 

The clear legal relationship between the two countries, 
Austria and Hungary, living under a common head, and 
also the independent existence of Hungary as a state, were 
at that time threatened by strong centralistic efforts. Even 
in the second third of the nineteenth century Austrian 
statistical organizations still concerned themselves with 
Hungarian material. 


The cause of statistics did not gain much by this union. 
The public furnishing the data did its part discontentedly 
for foreign officials; the activity of native experts, which 
showed a gratifying increase, was paralyzed by their inability 
to influence official statistical administration. 

It is true that in 1848, in connection with the formation of 
the first independent and responsible Hungarian ministry, 
some thought had been given to the formation of a statistical 
department in the Ministry of the Interior. In a short time, 
however, the clash of weapons put an end both to the activity 
of the ministry and to that of the little statistical department. 

During the 60's, when Hungarian science developed with 
continually increasing force, and when many a cultured and 
learned student of statistics was to be found, the need for 
official statistics made itself more and more strongly felt. 
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences pledged itself to devote 
the strength of the society to accomplishing through private 
zeal that which, as is well known, only the well-supported and 
imperative power of the state is capable of doing. The 
undertaking did not get beyond the experimental stage, 
partly because the state hastened soon afterward to institute 
an official statistical organization; we have nevertheless con- 
sidered it worth while to mention this attempt, as a char- 
acteristic example of the fact that Hungary was kept, for a 
while, from the creation of official statistics, only by the 
compelling force of external circumstances, and not by 
the lack of a proper spirit and of a clear recognition of the 
importance of statistics. Efforts were made which even 
exceeded the strength that was at command, solely in order 
that a body of statistics might be created. 

Finally, in 1867, the revolution in political life created an 
official Hungarian statistical organization as a department 
of the Ministry for Agriculture, Industry, and Trade. Of 
course this was a modest beginning with only scanty material 
resources, which became still less a few years later during a 
critical period in the state household. Nevertheless, the new 
creation began its existence with lofty plans and considerable 


success. It rapidly laid down the lines of regular investiga- 
tion, carried out a census, attempted a study of industrial 
statistics, and even participated in international statistical 
work by taking charge of the statistics of wine-growing in 
the group of publications planned by the Congress. It also 
exercised vigorous efforts to bring into existence local and 
provincial statistical organizations. Thus, not long after- 
ward, the Statistical Bureau of the capital and residence city 
of Budapest arose; this soon became a worthy co-worker, 
doing valiant service in the international as well as in the 
home field. Thus, moreover, the autonomous Croatian- 
Slavonian Statistical Office was created, which began to 
collect statistical material on Croatia and Slavonia according 
to the desires of the Hungarian Central Office, but also in 
order to meet the special needs of the two provinces. 

When the International Congress met at Budapest in 
1876 — the last one to assemble in that city, it found that 
Hungarian official statistics had already gathered strength 
and attained a high degree of development. In 1871 the 
Ministerial Department had been metamorphosed into a 
more freely moving independent Statistical Office. The 
path of its activity had been levelled by regulations of mod- 
ern origin; even the laws had made proper provision for it, 
when Article XXV of the Laws of 1874 instituted the first 
local regulation of Hungarian official statistics. A con- 
stantly increasing group of writers concerned themselves 
with the instructive results obtainable from the information 
gathered by the new office. Popular statistical courses were 
introduced into the University of Budapest; these were 
intended not only for university students but also for public 
administrative officials and others who were interested, in 
order that among those who did not carry on active coopera- 
tion, but who merely furnished the data of statistics, this 
science, which had continually to struggle against prejudice, 
might find appreciation and popularity. Gradually the 
pubhcations of the Statistical Office accumulated, becoming 
an instructive source of information for the Hungarian state, 


which was then going through a modernizing process. It 
was already possible to receive the foreign guests at the Inter- 
national Statistical Congress with a host of publications on 
Hungary, printed in the German and French languages, as 
well as in the Hungarian. 

The watchful heads of Hungarian statistical work rapidly 
introduced improvements in statistical technique into this 
country; sometimes they stood in the very front rank of 
technical progress. The system of individual sheets was 
used as early as 1880, in connection with the general census. 
During the general census of 1890 the method applied to 
the statistics of business enterprises created attention. 

However, the new office had to devote all its technical 
ability, all its skill in statistical methods, to the solution of 
home problems which came upon it like a flood. Hungary 
is not a unilingual country; differences in language are often 
associated with glaringly expressed racial contrasts; these in 
their turn usually react upon economic and cultural condi- 
tions; and all this is intertwined — again not by chance, but 
for the most part in a causal connection — with the religious 
confession. Mother tongue and religion are thus such 
important and characteristic qualities of the population that 
not only censuses, but almost all investigations which go into 
any factor of economic or cultural development, depend 
upon their determination. For this reason alone Hungarian 
statistical investigations are of necessity considerably more 
laborious than those of other states. Furthermore, from the 
fact that Hungary and Austria have a common customs bor- 
der, determined by agreement, another great difficulty of 
Hungarian statistics results: the cooperation of custom 
houses cannot be obtained for the determination of export 
trade, since from the data of the service the exports of neither 
of the two states are separately determined. As a result, 
the Hungarian export statistics require special and compli- 
cated procedure and the constant cooperation of the trade. 
Austria is struggling with the same problem. In order that 
these difficulties may be attacked with united forces, agree- 


ments have been entered into by the export trade statistical 
services in both states, and as a result there is an exchange of 
experiences; these are worthy of attention from the point of 
view of international statistics, as well as from that of 
domestic utility, and may serve as a very instructive example 
in all efforts for the statistical study of international com- 

It should also be mentioned that in Hungary statistical 
investigation is concentrated chiefly upon oflBcial statistics; 
other studies are heard of less frequently, or they are less 
systematic. Consequently, the official statistical investiga- 
tions in this country must be more specialized, and must go 
into minor details to a greater extent than anywhere else. 
(Through ignorance of the situation, many protests have 
arisen because of this fact.) 

All these struggles signify, even today, a characteristically 
heavier burden placed upon Hungarian official statistics, 
which weighed upon them with double force during the first 
part of their existence, when they were still in uncharted 
waters, and when the strength of statistical work was 
still limited by the unfavorable nature of the material. In 
order to carry on its greatest permanent work — ^the export 
trade statistics — the statistical organization has since 1881 
obtained its means in a pecuUar manner. The senders and 
addressees of goods, in connection with the declaration 
necessary for statistical piu-poses, pay a slight fee, and thus 
the expenses of commercial statistics are borne by the group 
which benefits directly by them — the Hungarian merchants. 

When the conditions in the state household took a more 
favorable turn, however, a constantly more satisfactory 
allowance was made to the other branches of statistics, as 
well as to this, and the Hungarian Statistical Office con- 
stantly went further in the extension of its field of action, 
the strengthening of its organization, and the increase of the 
number of its scientific works. 

It has now carried out five great general censuses — those of 
1869, of 1888, of 1890, of 1900, and of 1910— in which, besides 


the determination of the usual data, it has in each case 
illuminated a different detail of economic and social life by- 
means of special groups of questions. 

The introduction of export trade statistics was regulated 
by the Law of 1881, and its development by the Laws of 1895 
and 1906. Since 1900 the preparation of information con- 
cerning trade with Austria is carried on in cooperation with 
the neighboring state, as has been mentioned above. The 
method of preparation has, since that time, experienced 
repeated changes and improvements. 

The compilation of statistics of agricultural production, 
which are of such importance in Hungary, is improved from 
year to year. In 1895, on the basis of a special act, a great 
statistical study of the agricultural industry was undertaken. 

The exemplary development of vital statistics dates from 
the same year. Statistics of public instruction, criminal 
statistics, and a long series of other more or less important 
statistical branches, were all taken up and extended in rapid 
succession, as soon as a more favorable material situation 
made this possible. 

Statistical publications have also been increased and per- 
fected, and at the same time have answered more and more 
to the need of rapid publication. 

As the limits of Hungarian official statistics were contin- 
ually broadened, the legal regulation of 1874 was seen to 
set too narrow limits. Therefore in 1897 a new act was 
passed. Article XXXV of the Laws of that year. This 
opened up the possibility of further development, making 
statistics such an important adjunct to the life of the state as 
it can hardly be found to be anywhere else. 

Hungary, which for so long a time dispensed with sta- 
tistics entirely, now appreciates their value all the more. 
The Central Statistical Office of the Kingdom of Hungary 
already finds itself cramped by the palace built a decade 
and a half ago, which, it was beUeved, would be adequate 
for a long time; it will soon be necessary to build a new 
home for the Office. Its staff of officials is constantly in- 


creasing, and fulfils all requirements regarding technical edu- 
cation. The statistical investigations carried on by the 
Central Office embrace the whole great field of cultural, eco- 
nomic, and population conditions, and the results of its 
work are rapidly transmitted, by means of instructive pub- 
lications, to that portion of the public which is interested. 

A discussion of Hungarian official statistical organization, 
and of modem statistical activity, will be given later. Here 
let us simply recall with due recognition and reverence those 
names with which this admirable development is associated. 
The Kingdom of Eternal Rest has already received Karl 
Keleti, the first organizer, whose great ambition and, as it 
were, prophetic belief, were associated with the extraordi- 
narily rich fruitfulness of a learned spirit, and his successor, 
Josef von Jekelfalussy, who directed the work of further 
development and organization with great zeal and with 
an iron will. Besides these men, the cause of Hungarian 
official statistics has also to mourn the following who are 
departed: Leo Beothy, one of the first and most talented 
pioneers of sociology, which has since his time enjoyed a 
very marked development; Anton Vizaknai, whose technical 
improvements and splendid administrative genius left per- 
manent marks on all sides, while his deep learning mani- 
fested itself especially in the field of vital statistics; Zoltdn 
Rdth, who made himself known as a theorist and social stat- 
istician; and Josef von Korosy, who organized and brought 
up to a high level the Bureau of the capital and residence 
city of Budapest. 

The modesty of the living forbids me from mentioning 
them in further detail. Let this, however, be said — that 
the heritage of Keleti and Jekelfalussy was taken over by 
Julius von Vargha* and that the great development of the 
Central Statistical Office of the Kingdom of Hungary which 
took place during the last decade and a half was brought 

* During the writing of these lines Julius von Vargha was named Secretary 
of State of the Royal Hungarian Ministry of Trade; his successor has not yet 
been appointed. 


about through his labors, while Gustav Thirring has become 
the worthy successor of Josef von Korosy in the statistical 
service of Budapest. 


In an attempt to depict the present status of Hungarian 
official statistics, it is above all necessary to discuss the 
act dealing with the Central Statistical Office of the King- 
dom of Hungary, Article XXXV of the Laws of 1897, as this 
is the basis of the modern organization and the starting 
point of all further development. 

The provisions of Article XXXV, 1897, can be divided 
into three main sections. The first section provides the Office 
with all means and guarantees that are necessary to assure 
the scientific and professional character of its activities, 
and that characterize their main tendencies; the second is 
designed to keep the course of statistical investigations undis- 
turbed, in spite of all the usual hindrances; and, after the 
law has formulated fairly strict regulations in this respect, 
the third section guards the proper interests of the public 
against possible abuses on the part of statistical investigators. 

Among the regulations of the first group we may give 
immediate attention to Paragraph 1 of the Law, which ex- 
presses the functions of the Office as follows: "The accu- 
mulation of evidence on general conditions and matters of 
common interest as they change from year to year, as well 
as the collection for this purpose of more and more complete 
and reliable information; the examination, arrangement, 
and preparation of data; and their publication in such a 
manner that, they may be utilized both for scientific and 
for government, administrative, and other practical pur- 
poses. For purposes of comparison the Central Statistical 
Office of the Kingdom of Hungary shall obtain international 
data, and on the other hand it shall also be the duty of the 
Office to advance the interests of international statistics 
through its own activities." 

Under the terms of this law the field of activity of the 



Central Statistical Office is extended over the entire King- 
dom of Hungary. In Croatia and Slavonia, however, which 
together form a more or less autonomous state within the 
kingdom, the Office does not exercise its right of direct col- 
lection of data under Paragraph 2 of the Law, but the 
Croatian-Slavonian independent statistical office places the 
necessary information at the disposal of the Hungarian Cen- 
tral Office in proper form. In practice it develops that the 
Central Statistical Office of the Kingdom of Hungary carries 
out directly in Croatia and Slavonia only certain of the 
more important investigations (export trade statistics, rail- 
way statistics); as regards the rest — even the population 
censuses — ^it is satisfied to have the autonomous statistical 
bureau place at its disposal the information which it has 
obtained by the same methods as are employed in the 
Hungarian Central Office. 

Important aids to the scientific activity of the Central 
Office are its library and its collection of maps, which have 
been open to the public since 1897. Since that time, under 
the terms of Article 4 of the Statistical Law, this library has 
received one copy of all Hungarian publications except those 
of a purely literary nature. Aside from these compulsorily 
rendered home pubHcations, the material of the library is 
also enriched in a gratifying manner through works received 
by exchange with foreign scientific societies and particularly 
with statistical offices. Besides the occasional acquisition 
of publications on a large scale, the library expends 10,000 
crowns a year in the purchase of the better products of for- 
eign literary activity in the fields of politics, political 
economy, sociology and statistics. In these branches the 
library of the Central Statistical Office is, indeed, the most 
richly supplied of the Hungarian public libraries of today. 
Its 118,132 books and pamphlets embrace other depart- 
ments of science also, although to a lesser extent. The plan 
of rearranging the library and compiling a new catalogue is 
now under consideration. 

In order to guarantee the successful activity of the Cen- 


tral Statistical Office the Law (Pars. 6 and 7) provides, as 
regards the official personnel, that the administration and 
the preparation of reports and scientific studies shall be car- 
ried on by officials with an academic education, while the 
obtaining, general preparation, and general mathematical 
treatment of data shall be carried on by employees having 
an intermediate education. One third of the officials hav- 
ing an academic education may possess diplomas in medi- 
cine, engineering, or economics, or diplomas giving them 
the professorial rank. As a matter of fact, however, the 
work of final preparation and report is carried on almost 
entirely by officials who have been trained in the field of 
law and politics, and if technical experience and special 
training are required in any statistical investigation, the 
need is filled by temporary employment. 

Familiarity with statistical science is tested by a written 
and oral examination of officials. The law requires only 
that they shall pass such an examination within one year 
after they have entered upon their duties. There are usu- 
ally, however, so many candidates who have passed the 
examination and who aspire to a position that the require- 
ments of the Law have become still more severe in practice, 
and for a long time no one has had a chance of being ap- 
pointed who has not previously passed the technical sta- 
tistical examination. This examination, it may be added, 
tests with adequate thoroughness the candidates' knowl- 
edge in statistics and in the allied sciences. 

Paragraph 5 of the Law concerns the publications of the 
Office. Besides occasional irregular volumes, lists of offi- 
cials, directories of places, etc., the monthly publications 
form one special group, the successive volumes of the "Un- 
garische Statistische Mitteilungen " form another, and 
finally special mention should be given to the "Ungarisches 
Statistisches Jahrbuch" and to the government report con- 
nected with it. 

The monthly publications of the Central Statistical Office 
comprise two periodicals, one dealing with the periodical 


status of the export trade, and the other with such of the 
more important phenomena of population and of economic 
Hfe as furnish information suitable for monthly statement. 

The "Ungarische Statistische Mitteilungen " form a 
continuous series published in three languages — Hungarian, 
German, and French. They consist of four or at the most 
five volumes per year, each one of which is devoted to the 
results of one of the more important statistical investigations, 
including copious tabular matter, a more or less extensive 
textual discussion according to the nature of the subject, and 
frequent graphs and pictorial illustrations. 

This series of publications includes two volumes recurring 
from year to year. One of these is concerned with the Hun- 
garian export trade and the other with the shipping and 
commerce of Fiume, the only important seaport in the 
country. The same group of publications includes the 
general census reports. During the past decade two vol- 
umes have appeared on this subject, and the rest will follow 
in rapid succession. During the same period three volumes 
have appeared on vital statistics and two on criminal sta- 
tistics. Furthermore, this collection is enriched by the 
volumes appearing at various times and dealing with other 
important investigations (for example, agricultural pro- 
duction, cattle census, public instruction, mill industry, 
credit institutions, autonomous government, statistics of 
prices, etc.). 

The most important publication of the Hungarian Sta- 
tistical OflBce, however, is the "Ungarisches Statistisches 
Jahrbuch," which sets forth annually the principal results 
of the general statistical investigations (as well as of those 
mentioned above), together with any other characteristic 
information upon the general condition of the country. 
This also is published in Hungarian, German, and French. 
The year-book deals with all aspects of national conditions, 
and, in order that it may be a still more truthful reflection 
of the statujs of the country, the Law provides that it be 
supplemented by a textual report discussing the activity of 


the ministries and the general situation, and that every 
year, in connection with the consideration of the budget 
for the following year, this work be presented to the Par- 
liament by the Prime Minister. The reports on the 
ministries are prepared by the holders of the various port- 
folios, while the text concerning the general condition of 
the country originates in the Central Statistical Office; 
the work of final editing is carried on by a mixed commission 
under the chairmanship of the Director of the Central 
Office. Through these supplements the year-book not only 
increases in scope, but gains, so to speak, a constitutional 
significance, and becomes a parliamentary document — an 
annual official report on the Hungarian state. (The inte- 
gral parts of the year-book which have been mentioned 
above appear in the Hungarian language only.) 

The second group of regulations of the Statistical Law is 
intended, as has been stated, to guarantee the undisturbed 
course of investigations. It provides, in the first place, 
for suitable instruments of inquiry (Par. 8), and requires 
elementary school teachers in the agricultural communities 
to act as census enumerators, in return for proper compensa- 
tion, not only in inquiries concerning public instruction but 
also in other general investigations. This duty is not placed 
upon teachers in cities, because in the formulation of this 
law the hope was entertained that enough sufficiently intelli- 
gent candidates outside the ranks of teachers would be found 
in the cities to constitute the required number of enumer- 
ators. It seems, however, that this was an error, because 
the intelligent class in the cities is for the most part occupied 
with professional activities which are dependent upon con- 
siderations of time, and consequently lacks the leisure to 
cooperate in statistical inquiries. Thus it was found neces- 
sary, in connection with the Census of 1910, to pass a special 
law providing that municipal school teachers are also re- 
quired to take over the duties of a census enumerator. 

The measure of the compensation to which reference has 
been made varies with the nature of the study; there is 


similar variation in regard to the question of who is to 
bear the burden of compensating the enumerators. In 
investigations, which are above all in the interest of the 
state, it is usual to compensate the census enumerators 
out of the state exchequer. In the population census, 
however, the instructive results of which are equally bejie- 
ficial to the state and to the communities, the latter usually 
cover the costs of local work, while the expenses of central 
preparation and publication are borne by the state. 

Paragraph 9 of the Statistical Law expresses the obligation 
of all citizens to furnish data, extending this duty not only 
to public offices and officials but also to societies, companies, 
and private persons (with certain limitations, in the case of 
the last group, which will be explained below). 

For the purpose of control over the correctness with which 
data are furnished, the Law (Par. 10) empowers the Statis- 
tical Office to satisfy itself of the value of the information 
obtained by a consideration of the records, evidence, etc., 
of local authorities, institutions xmder official supervision, 
and private undertakings, and even to look into the account 
books of such undertakings as the administrative authorities 
have a legal right to supervise. 

Every person furnishing data is responsible for providing 
the information required of him at the proper time and, 
according to the best of his knowledge, in correct form. 
If anyone omits to present statistical data after a proper 
demand, they may be obtained by the Centrail Statistical 
Office at his expense (Par. 11); but if anyone knowingly 
furnishes false or incorrect information the royal district 
court of proper jurisdiction may take action against him 
for infringement of the Law (Par. 13), and a fine up to the 
limit of 100 crowns (about $20) may be imposed. If the 
carrying out of a statistical inquiry is impeded or hindered 
by spreading false reports, the ofifenders may be con- 
demned to bear all the damages, as well as the costs of 
a second investigation (Par. 14). 

As may be seen from the foregoing, the successful admin- 


istration of Hungarian official statistics is assured by ade- 
quately strict regulations. However, in order that these 
measures, taken in the interest of statistics, may not degen- 
erate into a source of general annoyance, the Law places 
suitable bounds upon statistical activity, and gives proper 
guarantees to those who furnish information. 

The most important of these guarantees consists in the 
complete exclusion of certain information from the sphere 
of statistical investigation, by means of an express prohibi- 
tion. This applies to all information concerning the total 
income or property of private individuals, or such of its 
components as are not outwardly determinable, as also to 
that which concerns the internal conditions of family, social, 
and moral life. 

However, any information which does not enter this 
forbidden ground can be ascertained by the Central Statis- 
tical Office only after it has presented to the Parliament, 
through the medium of its superior authority, the Minister 
of Trade, detailed proposals for the collection of data, and 
after the latter has accepted this program. Here, then, 
we have the second point of contact at which the activity 
of the Central Office is correlated with the highest consti- 
tutional forum. We have already seen that the Office pre- 
sents the results of its work first of all to the Parliament, 
in the form of the "Ungarisches Statistisches Jahrbuch" 
and the report on the general condition of the country. 
Here, however, we have a clear indication that the Parlia- 
ment is also the first to obtain knowledge of the program 
of its work. 

This measure is a great guarantee to those furnishing 
data, because, before the initiation of an investigation, 
the Parliament thus has an opportunity to consider whether 
it is necessary from the standpoint of the common interest, 
whether it entails unnecessary annoyance, and whether it 
is worthy of the application of the stringent regulations 
which assure the regular course of providing information. 

An appeal may be made to the Minister of Trade against 


any decisions of the Central Statistical Office regulating the 
furnishing of data, its local control, or the payment of costs 
by individuals omitting to tender the proper data. 

Revising information and obtaining it from local sources 
may be done only by special officials of the Office, in order 
that the public may obtain a guarantee from their rank 
and from the better possibility of making them responsible. 

Besides the fact that those who furnish data in the com- 
mon interest must be guarded from superfluous annoyance, 
they must also be secured from moral or material hurt in 
making a truthful statement of the facts. Consequently 
the law provides that statistical statements shall not be 
taken as a basis of apportionment of taxes, and requires 
that the Central Office publish its information, dealing not 
with individuals, but only according to territories or subjects 
(with the exception of publications having the nature of a 
directory, and of information on individuals which would 
otherwise receive publicity). 

In order that the public may suflFer from no indiscretion 
on the part of employees and members of the Central Sta- 
tistical Office, the Law fixes imprisonment up to the limit 
of two months and a fine not exceeding 600 crowns as the 
penalty for those who disclose to outsiders any statistical 
information coming to their knowledge during their em- 
ployment in the work of investigation or preparation; more- 
over, it compels them to render compensation for any dam- 
age which may result. 

This organization, with which we have concerned our- 
selves in such detail because it shows many individual traits 
and differs in many respects from the statistical organization 
of other states, has served since 1897, as has already been 
pointed out, as the basis of Hungarian official statistics. 
From the experience of 17 years, then, it may be praised 
as being completely adequate, as not hindering thei freedom 
of movement of statistics, and as outweighing, by proper 
safeguards, the burdens placed upon the public. 

On the basis of this organization Hungarian investigations 


have constantly become more direct, and the contact of the 
Central Statistical Office with private persons has undoubt- 
edly had an educational influence upon them, developing 
their interest in statistics. 

At present Hungarian official statisticians are carrying 
on the following continuous investigations, besides the 
periodical censuses: 

1. Vital statistics, compiled since 1895 by individual 
cards for every marriage, birth, and death. The results are 
published in combined form for each month and year, as 
well as for longer periods. 

2. For the determination of movements of the population: 
The statistics of travelers' passes, of emigration, immigra- 
tion and re-migration, and the statistics of personal traffic 
across the boundaries between Hungary and Roumania 
and between Hungary and Servia, on the basis of the 
data furnished by home officials, which is supplemented 
by information from the European ports of trans-oceanic 
traffic and by the reports of the American Bureau of Immi- 
gration. The results are published at monthly and at yearly 

3. The statistics of public health, with information on the 
organization of medical officers, on hospitals, health resorts, 
vaccinations, etc., with annual publication of results. 

4. Agricultural statistics, which are divided into a num- 
ber of branches: The distribution of the areas covered by 
the various products, the cultivated area destroyed by the 
elements, the average productivity, the statistical deter- 
mination of wine growing and of the wine harvest, and in 
more recent times the statistics of the so-called Bulgarian 
nurseries. The results are published annually, and, in 
collected form, for longer periods. 

5. The statistics of hunting, with particular attention to 
the utilization of hunting territory and of game. 

6. The statistics of fluctuations in the size of real estate 
holdings — ^for the present only that part of the statistics 
which concerns properties of medial and large size. This 


investigation in its full scope is still in the stage of organiza- 
tion and preparation. 

7. The statistics of cattle markets, with particular atten- 
tion to the number of animals driven to these markets and 
sold there. Publication monthly and yearly. 

8. The statistics of market prices, covering the prices of 
the more important articles of consumption, and particularly 
of food articles in the more important markets. Informa- 
tion is pubUshed monthly and yearly. A short time ago the 
Central Statistical Office published a volume of considerable 
size on the statistics of prices, which took foreign as well as 
domestic price fluctuations into consideration. All domestic 
sources which could be drawn upon for the determination of 
prices were utilized. In connection with this work the 
reform of methods of determining price statistics came up for 
consideration, and will be one of the studies of the near 

9. The statistics of mining and smelting, with annual 

10. The statistics of representation of industrial and com- 
mercial interests. Publication is annual; every five years, 
however, there is a more detailed investigation, the results 
of which are pubhshed in a separate volume. 

11 The statistics of industrial stock companies, with 
annual publication. 

12. The statistics of the productivity of mills, with annual 
publication of data. A more extensive monographic study 
of the entire milling industry, in a special volume, is usually 
made at intervals of ten years. 

13. The statistics of strikes occurring in mining, industrial, 
and transportation enterprises, with annual publication. 

14. The statistics of agricultural accidents, with annual 
publication of data. Formerly the scope of action of the 
Central Statistical Office included the other branches of 
industrial accidents, as well as the statistics of workingmen's 
sick benefit. In 1907, however, these were taken into the 


sphere of activity of the State Workingmen's Insurance 
Office, which was created at that time. 

15. The staitstics of pawnbroking estabhshments, with 
information concerning the amount of their business and of 
the interest obtained, with annual publication. 

16. The statistics of foreign trade, the greatest work 
carried on by Hungarian Statistical forces both as regards 
scope and as regards matter. Publication is at monthly 
and yearly intervals. The report of the activity of the 
Hungarian Permanent Commission for the Determination 
of Export Trade Values is also published annually. The 
minor branches of export trade statistics are: The statistics 
of marine shipping (also with monthly and annual publica- 
tion of data), the statistics of grain transportation at the 
Budapest railway and shipping stations (which are published 
daily), and the statistics of grain supplies in the warehouses 
(which are published at weekly intervals). 

17. Railway statistics, which are published annually. 

18. The statistics of credit institutions, which are pub- 
lished at yearly intervals, but also in special volumes for 
larger periods. 

19. The statistics of cooperative associations, covering 
societies for cooperative production, consumption, selling, 
etc.; published annually. (The statistics of cooperative 
credit associations are carried on by the Central Office in 
connection with the statistical study of institutions of credit.) 

20. The statistics of insurance institutions, with annual 
publication of data. 

21. The statistics of fires, with annual and monthly publi- 
cation and with special pubhcations at various intervals 
combining a number of previously published works. 

22. The statistics of public instruction, which form one of 
the greatest studies of the Central Statistical Office and 
cover all institutions in the service of instruction, from 
institutions for the care of children up to those of academic 
rank, as also the subjects of care and compulsory education 
of children, boarding schools, etc. That part of the statis- 


tics which concerns the teaching staff is particularly instruc- 
tive; in all forms of institutions this is obtained by means of 
individual cards . Publication takes place annually ; a special 
volume has been completed on the development of public 

23. The statistics of public museums, picture galleries, 
and libraries, with annual publication. 

24. Statistics covering church and religious life, as well as 
persons not having any confession; with annual publication. 

25. Statistics of law. As regards the relation of the citi- 
zen to the law, these are (with the exception of the statistics 
of divorce carried on on a larger basis) confined principally 
to the gathering of information on business affairs; in con- 
nection with criminal statistics, however, they contain all 
those details which are necessary for the knowledge of this 
important branch of social statistics. Publication takes 
place annually, while criminal statistics are published in 
special volumes at intervals. 

Besides these regular continuous investigations, Hun- 
garian oflGicial statisticians are constantly called upon for 
temporary special investigations. Among these the general 
censuses have already been mentioned, which take place at 
intervals of ten years, and which are associated with other 
investigations when there is no likelihood of clashing with 
the interests of the general census. Moreover, extensive 
investigations take place at various times in the field of the 
agricultural industry and into the division and mortgaging 
of real property; sometimes special cattle censuses are held. 
In the field of sanitary statistics the following are worthy of 
mention: the inquiry into the number of cancer sufferers 
during the previous decade, and the investigation which is 
now going on into the question of blindness; both of these 
are part of international investigations. During recent 
years the statistics of the political economy of autonomous 
organizations also deserve to be emphasized. Two volumes 
of these, dealing with the government of towns and parishes. 


have already been completed, while a third on the govern- 
ment of cities is now under preparation. 

Besides this work which comes to the notice of the public, 
Hungarian official statistical workers have been called upon 
to a considerable extent, particularly during the last decade, 
in the preparation of the necessary statistical bases for 
government regulations, bills, etc. In former times, because 
of the narrow scope of statistical observations, there was less 
possibility of preparing legislative measures under the influ- 
ence of statistics. However, the more the treasury of data 
in the Central OjBBce grew, the more useful it became. 

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office carries on its 
function with a budget of almost a million and a half crowns. 
The number of its officials is 122, of whom 27 have com- 
pleted academic courses and are capable of administration 
and final utilization and scientific treatment of the material, 
while the remaining 95, who have been trained in inter- 
mediate schools, carry on the work of general preparation 
and the other technical labors. Besides the regularly em- 
ployed officials, 200-300 temporary employees, varying in 
number according to the necessities of the situation, help 
to master the enormous quantity of information which 
reaches the Office. 


It is difficult to enter into prophecies concerning the tasks 
and plans of the future. Hungarian official statistics have 
now entered into so intimate a connection with existence that 
those ideas of reform which appear in Hungarian social and 
political life are also characteristic in their effect upon the 
work of the Central Statistical Office. Only with this in 
mind does the Hungarian Statistical Office take up new 
work and the further extension of its statistical observa- 
tions, keeping pace with the demands and the interests of 
life itself. 

The mass of data has already been developed to such an 
extent that it is doubtless already possible to speak of plans 


for the more distant future, and particularly of the intensive 
cultivation of social statistics, with special reference to 
housing statistics, statistics of public health, and the study 
of other branches of the workingman's life. Nevertheless it 
is not a misfortune if this development can take place only 
solely and gradually. Meanwhile, the more important and 
pressing task of Himgarian official statistics consists in 
placing itself and its fruitful activity at the disposal of the 
government, and of society, for the work of national reform. 
So we see the extension of the field of action of the Central 
Statistical Bureau in one direction today and in quite a 
diflFerent one tomorrow. This apparent lack of system is 
nevertheless in the service of a greater unity — in the service 
of Hungary as it struggles upward, constantly improving, 
constantly developing, to which statistics, with their objec- 
tivity and with the rugged truthfulness of their figures, 
will be of greater and greater usefulness. 



By Sik Athelstane Baines, C.S.I. 

Ex-President of the Royal Statistical Society and late Census Commissioner 

for India 

A few years ago, an eminent Indian oflBcial of high caste, 
speaking at a statistical club, laughingly remarked upon 
the incongruity of his participation in the proceedings, as 
"The Hindus, for over 3,000 years, had looked upon figures 
and statistics with what they regarded as justifiable con- 
tempt. They were a spiritual race; and regarded every- 
thing of this world as a mere illusion; and therefore facts 
and figures connected with the life history of nations were 
matters of no concern to them." Whether the cause thus 
assigned in jest has a basis in fact or not, the neglect in 
question is beyond doubt. The Muslim emperors of Delhi 
systematically recorded taxation and resources, but official 
statistics, in the present sense of the word, are the offspring 
of British rule. They originated, like the records of the 
previous regime, in the requirements of the state in regard 
to taxation; but the indirect scope of these requirements is, 
in India, very wide. In a tropical country, essentially 
agricultural, life is so simple that the masses can hardly be 
reached by taxation except through the land and one or 
two other primary necessaries; and to adjust the state 
demand equitably upon agriculture entails an intimate 
knowledge of the condition of the people on the part of the 
assessing authority which it is eminently the province of 
statistics to fortify and promote. Parallel with the admin- 
istration of the revenue from land, salt and the like, came 
the new impetus given to maritime trade with which the 
government had to cope, as well as the increasing complexity 
of the financial arrangements between India, China and 


England. Three branches of statistics, then, may be said 
to have established themselves in the administration from 
the outset. The extension of British rule over the interior, 
which continued at a greater or less rate until the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century, carried with it the admin- 
istration of justice, the protection of life and property, the 
improvement of means of communication, of sanitation, 
education, and all the other functions of efficient govern- 
ment, each contributing its quota to the rising tide of statis- 
tical information. In these circumstances the field open 
to investigation is unusually ample, and its exploitation is 
favored by the extent to which the state has here to take 
the initiative in measures of material benefit to the people 
at large. 

At this point it is advisable to call attention to two very 
important facts bearing upon the statistics of India. First, 
of the 245 millions of British India (excluding, that is, the 
71 millions in Native States), less than 9 per cent, of those 
over 20 years old can read and write as much as a simple 
private letter. The government is therefore called upon to 
do much for them which more literate communities do for 
themselves. Secondly, India is one country in none but a 
political sense, and its component parts differ so widely in 
climate, habits and social divisions, that the aggregate of 
figures for the Empire as a whole is, as a rule, devoid of 
statistical value. 

Now, more than 90 per cent, of the people are rural and 
mainly agricultural, a fact which goes far to explain their 
apathy as to book-learning. They are domiciled in villages, 
which are territorial units of the nature of a parish or small 
township, and of these there are over 537,000. Throughout 
the greater part of India to every village, or group where 
they are small or close together, is assigned an official 
accountant, or clerk, who is often almost the only man in the 
place who can read and write enough to fill in a simple 
return. His original duty, except in Bengal, where he had 
police duties, was to keep the land revenue records up to 


date and to book collections, etc.; but he has long since devel- 
oped into the recorder in general of all facts concerning the 
village and its population upon which the authorities require 
information. He is thus the primary source of statistics 
concerning the individual, and is necessarily under strict 
inspection and supervision. The villages are grouped into 
territorial subdivisions or, in some parts of India, into 
circles, which constitute the unit, so to speak of local com- 
pilation, and are under experienced officials of good educa- 
tion. The subdivision, in turn, forms part of a District, of 
which there are 267 in India, and this is the tract which may 
be considered the geographical or administrative unit of 
most Indian statistics, because through the head officer pass 
all the returns collected throughout his charge, except those 
relating to civil litigation and the more centralized state 
functions, such as those of the post office, telegraphs, cus- 
toms, and maritime trade and navigation. The District 
returns form the basis of those for the Provinces, of which 
there are 10, exclusive of the 5 smaller ones, which are units 
in themselves. In the tables for India as a whole the figures 
are set forth by Provinces, except in the case of subjects of 
imperial extent, such as finance, railways, meteorology, 
irrigation systems, general trade, and the like. Even within 
the Province, however, there are often differences, both 
physical and social, which markedly demarcate one tract 
from the rest, as Sind from Bombay, Orissa from Bihar, and 
Upper from Lower Burma; and in analysing the returns 
statistically these distinctions have to be taken into account. 
As between Provinces, generally speaking, the main admin- 
istrative differences relevant to statistical comparison are 
found in the systems of land tenure, and consequently, in 
the administration of the most important item in the fiscal 
system; in the method of collecting the revenue from salt 
and excise, and in the framework of local government. 
For these subjects different forms of returns are required for 
local purposes in each Province, but in order to render inter- 
comparison possible, a general series of returns under each 


head of statistics, and adapted to include the important 
facts common to all, is prescribed by the government of 
India; and on these the imperial tables are based. It should 
be borne in mind that the Provinces came under British rule 
at widely different dates, and, as each of the larger ones has 
its own legislature, enactments affecting purely local matters 
are passed as occasion demands, whilst the Acts of general 
application of the government of India are only made 
applicable gradually in tracts behind the rest in development 
or more recently brought under British administration. 

From the above general sketch it will be seen that while 
full allowance is made for the great diversities in detail 
necessitated by local circumstances, a far greater degree of 
uniformity in the principal heads of statistics is attained 
than might be expected under a system as elastic and com- 
posite as is that upon which the vast population of India 
is governed. At the same time, the figures as marshalled 
in the excellent annual Abstracts are not invariably to be 
taken at their face-value. There are, first, the pitfalls which 
an experienced statistician knows he has to expect in returns 
collected from so many sources, under such varied conditions, 
and often including terms either unfamiliar in themselves or 
evidently used in some technical sense. Then, again, com- 
parison with previous years has to be conducted in the face 
of frequent and sudden accretions of new territory, or the 
extension of the statistical inquiry to fresh areas in the older 
Provinces, as has been the case with the agricultural returns; 
or, again, the greatly increased accuracy with which the 
information is recorded, a factor very prominent in the 
returns of births, deaths and diseases, and in those of crop- 
areas and live stock. These considerations make it advisa- 
ble that Indian statistics should not be taken raw, but 
studied in the light thrown by the annual reports upon the 
administration of each Province, or the Decennial Heport 
on the Moral and Material Progress of India, presented to 
Parliament under statute by the Secretary of State, the 


most recent number of which refers to the decade ending 
with 1911-12. 

The historical aspect of these ofiScial statistics calls for 
little comment. From the introduction of British rule 
attention has been paid to the record of fiscal transactions 
and of the sea-borne trade. Administrative statistics fol- 
lowed fitfully, it is true, but keeping pace with the develop- 
ment of the Province, and dating back, accordingly, to 
different periods in each local series of returns. Outside the 
Presidency Towns, municipal institutions became adoptive 
under Acts passed about the middle of last century. About 
ten years later, district and local boards were set up in the 
rural parts of the country. The present system of public 
instruction was organized in 1854, the year, too, in which 
railways were introduced. Vaccination and sanitary in- 
spection date from about 1870. The cotton and jute indus- 
tries were started between 1850 and 1857, but the former 
received its main impetus in 1861-2, and the latter made 
its first great stride in 1874. The inspection of factories 
was organized in 1881, but has since been considerably 
extended; that of mines was instituted comparatively re- 
cently. Agricultural statistics, as distinguished from the 
administration of the land as a revenue-producing agent, 
date from 1881, but have been much extended and improved 
since then. The first general census of India was taken in 
1881, the previous enumerations having been at different 
times in each Province. The operation was repeated in 
1891, 1901 and 1911. On each occasion additional areas 
were brought under enumeration; the aggregate, therefore, 
for the whole country cannot be compared for the different 
years, and allowance is made for this in the tables published. 
There is no permanent census office. Coming now to the 
organization of official statistics in India, it should be ob- 
served that the grouping of the various subjects, though 
departmental, is more obvious and easy to understand than 
under the system prevailing in England, where it is obscured 
by tradition, and arbitrary from the want of central control. 


In India, the returns collected in the District are distributed 
by the head oflScial to the appropriate branch of the local 
government, to which the more specialized subjects are 
reported direct. The tables for provincial use are there 
compiled, and from them, the imperial returns above de- 
scribed. These last are transmitted to the government of 
India, in its several departments, and there formed into 
tables for the whole country. As a rule, the annual returns 
under each head are accompanied by an explanatory report, 
in the first instance by the District Officer or the Chief of 
the Department, as the case may be. This contribution by 
"the man on the spot" is then dealt with in a review of a 
wider scope by the Provincial government, which is in turn 
collated with the rest by the Supreme government. There 
are exceptions to this practice where the subject calls for 
more general treatment, as in the case of imperial finance, 
foreign trade, the army, railways, meteorology, and the like, 
which come directly before the government of India. 

The partition of the administration into departments is 
not uniform throughout the Provinces, and the allocation 
of the different subjects varies, accordingly, though not 
enough to confuse the non-official inquirer. The govern- 
ment of India administers through nine departments, of 
which the Foreign and Legislative may be considered out- 
side the present subject. The Army Department, again, 
deals only with highly speciahzed returns, as its budget, 
etc., comes under the Department of Finance. The Home 
Department, as in England, is concerned with judicial and 
police statistics. Under the Public Works Department come 
irrigation undertakings and roads and buildings, the former 
of which are reported upon directly, but the annual work 
under the second head is summarized for the Provincial 
governments only. Railways are under a special board, 
independent of the other departments, and publishing a 
separate report. The agricultural side of irrigation works 
falls statistically within the sphere of the Revenue and 
Agricultural Department, the engineering and finance being 


dealt with as above mentioned. The revenue, too, included 
in this Department, is only that from land, and is viewed 
here not so much in its financial bearings as in relation to 
the administration of the various systems of tenure and 
assessment. Similarly, the recently introduced Cooperative 
Credit Societies, which are largely patronized by the peas- 
antry, are statistically under this Department, and so is 
the administration of the forests. The Department of Edu- 
cation has only been in existence about three years. It is 
one of the few whose functions are not completely indicated 
in its title, for it deals with local government, medical relief 
and sanitation, as well as with public instruction. In regard 
to the last named, it goes beyond the mere compilation of 
returns, as it publishes, under statute, a quinquennial review 
of the general progress of education in India. Finally, there 
is the Department of Commerce and Industry, estabUshed 
in 1905, which, as far as its statistical functions are concerned, 
fills a place equal in importance to that of the Board of 
Trade in England. Besides the Trade and Navigation 
returns and those of Joint-stock Companies, Factory and 
Mine Inspection, it receives those connected with Emigra- 
tion, both internal and abroad, Cotton manufacture, and 
Coal production and supply. It compiles, too, the Season 
and Crop report, the Prices and Wages returns, and the 
Price-Index-Numbers. The Department includes a section, 
under the Director of Commercial Intelligence, mainly 
occupied in the preparation of statistical matter. Indeed, 
it swallowed up the Director General of Statistics, a func- 
tionary appointed in 1895, with a narrow sphere of duties. 
Owing to the increasing pressure of non-statistical work, 
however, in the Commercial section of the Department, the 
absorbed post is being revived. The most popular, and one 
of the most useful publications of this Department is the 
"Statistics of British India," an annual Abstract, on the 
lines of those of the Board of Trade, though giving more 
detail. It has been in currency for about 6 years, and now 
appears in 8 parts, the titles of which have been utihzed for 


the classified list of returns with which this review ends. 
The statistics of Agriculture are contained in a separately 
published work, and among other special returns should be 
mentioned that on the Mineral production of India, by the 
Geological Survey, and the returns of the Meteorological 
Reporter, with his review- of the year's weather. 

Amongst works of a more general character, but based 
upon the above statistics, the most worthy of notice are 
the Provincial Administration reports already mentioned, 
in which the work of every Department is summarized and 
reviewed. In less detail is the annual Statement of the 
Secretary of State on the Moral and Material Progress, 
the decennial number of which is particularly instructive 
on the general administration of India. A Statistical Ab- 
stract is also published by the India OflBce, in which most of 
the returns issued by the government of India are sum- 
marized. In conclusion, it may be noted that the Indian 
census reports, both Provincial and Imperial, are not con- 
fined to the subjects to which the inquiry relates in Western 
countries, but contain statistics of parent-tongue, caste, 
tribe and religious sects, of the greatest value and interest 
in ethnographic investigation, and otherwise inaccessible. 

The following statement shows the principal statistical 
reports published, annually as a rule, by the Provincial 
governments and the government of India, respectively. 
They are grouped as far as possible in accordance with the 
arrangement adopted in the "Statistics of India" above 
referred to, the agricultural statistics being appended. The 
starred items are those presented to Parliament under 

I. IsDtrsTBiAL: Coal Production, etc. 

{a) Provincial. Mineral Production. 
Factory Acts. 
Wages Census, five yearly. "• Commercial: 

(6) Imperial. (a) Provincial. 

Price and Wages. Sea-borne Trade and Navigation. 

Price-Index Numbers. Maritime Customs. 

Mines Inspection Acts. Inland Rail and Road-borne Trade. 



External Land Trade. 
Companies Act. 
Cobperative Credit Societies. 

(b) Imperial. 
Review of Indian Trade.* 
Tables of Indian Trade.* 
Accounts of Sea-borne Trade. 
External Land Trade (Monthly). 
Coasting Trade. 
Rail and River-borne Trade. 
Joint-stock Companies. 
CoBperative Credit Movement, Report. 

III. Commercial Services: 
(o) Provincial. 
Irrigation, Finance. 
Irrigation Department. 
Roads and Buildings. 

(6) Imperial. 
Railway Administration.* 
Irrigation, Finance. 
Railway and Irrigation, Capital 

Post Office. 

rV-a. Finance: 
(a) Provincial. 
Revenue and Expenditure Accounts 
. (Provincial and Local) . 
(b) Imperial. 
National Income and Expenditure. 
Financial Statement.* 
Home Accounts.* 

Loan Expenditure, India and England.* 
Accounts and Estimates, Explanatory 

Paper Currency Department. 

rV-b. Revenue: 
(a) Provincial. 
Land Revenue Administration. 
Land Record Department Report. 
Opium (Bombay and Bihar). 



Income Tax. 

Registration of Documents (Finance). 

(5) Imperial. 
Provincial Returns Summarized. 

V. PoPUiATioN, Health, etc: 

(a) Provincial. 

Provincial Census. 

Sanitary Commissioner (Vital Statis- 


Civil Hospitals and Dispensaries. 

Lunatic Asylmus. 

Emigration (indentured), Bengal. 

Emigration (unindentured), Madras, un- 
der Native Passenger Shipping Acts. 

(6) Imperial. 
Census of India. 
Sanitary Commissioner. 
Sanitary Measures Report.* 
Hospitals, Dispensaries, Asylums, Sum- 

Emigration, Indentured, Summarized. 

VI. Administrative and Judicial: 

(a) Provincial. 
Crime and Litigation. 

Registration of Documents (Administra- 

(6) Imperial. 
Administrative Divisions of India. 
Summaries of Provincial Returns. 

VII. Education: 

(o) Provincial. 
Public Instruction. 
Publications, and Printing Presses. 

(6) Imperial. 
Quinquennial Report on Education.* 
Summaries of Provincial Returns. 



VIII. Local Government: 
(a) Provincial. 
District and Local Boards. 
Port Trusts. 


(a) Provincial. 
Agricultural Department Report. 
Season and Crops. 
Forest Administration. 

(6) Imperial. 
Agricultural Statistics. 
Agricultural Progress Report. 

Area and Yield of Main Crops. 

Season and Crop Report. 

Meteorological Report. 


Indian Weather Report. 

Forest Administration. 

General Abstracts: 
Statistics of British India, Parts I to 
VIII. Headings as in above List 
(Department of Commerce and In- 

Statistical Abstract relating to British 
India.* (Secretary of State.) 



By Db. C. a. Verrun Stuart 

Professor of Statistics and Economics at the University of Groningen, Chairman of 
the Central Commission for Statistics 

As is known everywhere, the necessities of the public 
service first led to the compiling of statistics, i.e., to the 
quantitative determination of the extent and composition 
of certaiQ qualitatively limited masses. It is only much 
later that statistics have become the indispensable means 
of investigating the growth and life of nations, in the demo- 
graphical, ethical, social-economic and political sense and, 
in a still broader meaning, for the study of phenomenal life 
as far as it reveals itself in phenomena which are amenable 
to observation. 

The oldest statistics have reference to the extent of the 
population and its economic power, in the knowledge of 
which the authorities were directly interested, with a view 
to the maintenance and defense of the state. Certainly 
these forerunners of modern statistics are important also 
from a scientific point of view. But it was the interests of 
the authorities which led to their elaboration and determined 
the limits of observation. 

Such was the case in the Netherlands as well. The oldest 
known sources of statistics ia this country are the port 
censuses in several cities and the tax registers.* The needs 
of the state were already equally less foreign to the response 
which Graimt's "Political Arithmetic," begun in 1662, 
found in this country. It was customary at that time to 
meet the demands of the treasury, among other things, 
through the issue of annuities by which the state raised a 

*0f these there are published, among others, " Inf ormacie, " of 1514, by Professor 
Fruin, which has reference to Holland and Friesland; and "Haard-Tellingen" 
of the fourteenth and sixteenth century in Brabant, by Dr. Cuvelier. 


capital upon the obligation to pay an interest terminating 
at the death of the money-lender or of the person on whose 
life the annuity was taken out. The establishment of the 
rate of annuities, which, from the nature of the case, were 
especially taken out on the lives of young persons, was 
altogether optional so long as nothing was definitely known 
about the death chances of the population. 

Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), one of the founders of 
the computation of probabilities, in 1669, was the first to 
apply the laws discovered in connection with it to the lease 
of life of man; and the Grand Pensionare Johan de Witt 
(1625-1672) in his famous memoir of 1671 — of whose con- 
tents the well-known mathematician, Johan Hudde (1628- 
1704), had shown his approval — made a first attempt to 
find a scientific basis for determining the purchase price of 
the annuities. De Witt assumed that the chance of life of a 
man at the age of 4 to 53 is constant. Taking this chance 
of life as equal to one, he considers it at the age from 53-63 
years as two thirds, from 63-73 years as one half, and from 
73-80 years as one third. Thereupon, calculating the cash 
value of an annuity at 47, he comes to the conclusion that one 
gulden of annuity taken out on the life of a youthful person 
represents a capital value of 16 francs. One observes that 
de Witt's insight into the proportions of death at his time, 
which were then no more constant than now for all persons 
between the ages of 4-53 years and for both sexes, was still 
very faulty. In a supplement, in which the data about the 
ages of deceased receivers of annuities form the basis, he 
himself comes to a different conclusion and places the capital 
value at 18 francs instead of 16 — ^both amounts being con- 
siderably higher than those for which annuities were sold 
at that time (14 francs). 

In truth, good bookkeeping of the population, which 
would have offered a reliable foundation for calculations 
such as de Witt wished to make, was still wanting. W. 
Kersseboom (1691-1771), who deduced the first Dutch 
table of deaths from the same lists of deceased receivers of 


annuities which had served de Witt, and from these cal- 
culated the "probable number of the people" of Holland, 
beginning with a specified birth figure, could only take an 
arbitrarily chosen number for this purpose, so that the 
population of 980,000 calculated by him and the accompany- 
ing birth rate of 1 :35 has no statistical value. Nic. Struyck 
(1687-1769) has collected in his writings the few demographi- 
cal data known to him about our country. However, he 
could not furnish very much. 

This state of affairs, one can almost say of absolute lack 
of regular systematic statistical observations, lasted in our 
country until the end of the eighteenth century. Trust- 
worthy publications did not appear during the time of the 
Republic, and the data about the population, commerce, 
finance, etc., must be dug up from the church registers and 
archives. Also the "Kameralstatistik," which was diligently 
studied in Germany and at the universities in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries, found no encouragement 
in this country. It is true that from 1795-1807, Prof. A. 
Kluit gave lectures at the University of Leiden on statistics, 
as he announced it himself, quite in the spirit of Achenwall. 
But these lectures awakened very little interest, and IQuit 
never established a school of his own. 

The first effort of the government of the Netherlands at 
statistics as such was really the summary census taken in 
1795, and especially intended as the basis for determining 
the composition of a general popular representation in the 
Batavian Republic. This census was followed by a partial 
provincial census (which had already taken place before), 
until the royal decree of 29 September, 1828 (later replaced 
by the law of April 22, 1879), introduced a regular deceimial 
census. In addition, a plan was originated in 1801 to com- 
pile general registers of births, marriages and deaths, but 
it was not executed, largely as a result of the unrest of the 

When our country was annexed by the French Empire in 
1810 the Emperor, of whom one of his officials said "Faire 


de la statistique c'est le meilleur moyen de plaire a Napoleon," 
ordered the intendant, Alphonse, who had been sent here, to 
compile detailed statistics about our country, its inhabitants 
and its means of existence. This order was complied with by 
the presentation of a bulky report which so far as the most 
important parts are concerned was published in 1899 by the 
Central Bureau of Statistics. At the same time, thanks are 
due the imperial rule for having introduced on January 1, 
1812, civil registers of births, marriages, and deaths in all 
communes; as a result of political complications, however, 
it is only for years following 1815 that complete data under 
these three demographic rubrics can be procured. 

At that period the regular collection of statistical data 
relating to other subjects was likewise ordained. Our first 
government of 1798 had already ordered the presentation 
of estimates and accounts of the state expenses, a prescrip- 
tion which was preserved in succeeding constitutions. After 
the recovery of our independence (towards the end of 1813), 
the constitution of 1814 added the requirement (also in- 
cluded in later constitutions) that detailed reports concern- 
ing education and pauper relief should be presented annually. 
At the same time, in 1814, a beginning was made by the 
government toward obtaining some statements about pris- 
oners. A royal decree of 1825 called for the regular collection 
of data concerning imports, exports and goods in transit. 
In this manner statistical material began to be gathered 
from all sides, which was important to a knowledge of the 
country and people, and Mr. Lobatto, an official of the 
Department of Internal Affairs, found reason in 1825 for 
asking authority from the king to publish a statistical year 
book which appeared regularly from 1826 to 1849, inclusive. 

Meanwhile, the government, realizing that not enough 
was being done for the general statistics of the kingdom, 
"having taken into consideration the importance to the serv- 
ice of the kingdom as a whole and particularly to the 
sciences, of compiling detailed statistics of the country," 
established in 1826, in the Department of Home Affairs, 


a statistical bureau which was to be governed by a committee 
of three members with Mr. E. Smits as secretary. Further- 
more, in the same year the provincial governments were 
recommended to establish provincial commissions for sta- 

The bureau of 1826 had charge of the Census of 1829, 
and a threefold collection of tables has been published as a 
result of its labors; these tables contain data about the 
population, commerce and shipping, live-stock, meteorology, 
judicial affairs, etc. The Belgian uprising, however, speedily 
put an end to its activity. Mr. Smits left for Belgium, and 
although Mr. Lobatto was named as his successor, nothing 
more was published of the work of this bureau. 

It was first in 1848 that a new step was taken for the 
purpose of organizing the oflBcial statistics through the es- 
tablishment of a statistical bureau, which was placed under 
the direction of Dr. von Baumhauer in the Department of 
Home Affairs. This bureau, although forming part of the 
Department and therefore of preponderant administrative 
importance, added, in different ways, significant contribu- 
tions to the development of Dutch statistics. The small 
year book of Lobatto was transformed into a statistical 
annual which appeared regularly from 1851 to 1868 and con- 
tained more valuable contents than its predecessor; mor- 
tality tables for the periods 1840-1851 and 1850-1859 were 
compiled; the Census of 1849, 1859, and 1869 took place 
under the direction of von Baumhauer, and his bureau no 
doubt cooperated in establishing the models demanded by 
law for the provincial and community reports (respectively, 
in 1851 and 1852). 

A centralization of the statistical observation service of 
the kingdom did not take place, however, with the estab- 
lishment of this bureau. The compilation of different 
statistics was continued through the other departments of 
the general administration. Since 1844, the Department 
of Justice had published prison statistics, and judicial sta- 
tistics since 1850; the Department of Finance had issued 



annual statistics of commerce and shipping since 1846, 
statistics concerning the finances of the kingdom since 1861; 
the Department of Colonies, as a result of the prescription 
of the constitution of 1848, had published a detailed colonial 
report since 1851, the contents of which, from their nature, 
were for the greater part statistical. Even the compilation 
of dififerent reports issued by or prepared under the direc- 
tion of the Department of Home Affairs, which were partly 
or wholly of a statistical character, was not left to von 
Baumhauer's bureau (viz. the Report on the Government 
of the Insane, since 1844; the Report on Telegraphs, since 
1852; the Report on Public Works, since 1844; the Report 
on Meteorological Observations, since 1854; the Report on 
Sea Fisheries, since 1857). 

In order to bring about greater scientific unity in the 
statistics, there was established in 1858, in accordance with 
a recommendation of the Statistical Congress at Paris in 
1855 to carry out the wishes of Quetelet, a Government 
Commission on Statistics, apart from the provincial bureaus 
of statistics whose establishment had been prescribed for 
every province of the kingdom by the provincial law of 

This commission, which was of a purely advisory char; 
acter, gave important advice to the government on different 
subjects under the direction of Professor Ackersdyck. 
Soon, however, it had to contend with disagreement among 
the members themselves, with the result that in the compil- 
ation of statistics by his bureau Mr. von Baumhauer did not 
always seem inclined to carry out the majority resolutions 
of the commission in the compilation of statistics in his 
bureau. Their troubles led to the resignation of the chair- 

*These provincial bureaus which, contrary to the original intention, were burdened 
by the Provincial Councils with administrative work of a different nature and 
totally foreign to statistics, had never really been developed. By degrees they 
therefore lost their importance to the development of Dutch statistics. They had 
already disappeared in several provinces when in 1905 the law which authorized 
their establishment was repealed. 


man in 1860, and to the repeal of the commission a year 

Before continuing the sketch of the history of official 
statistics, mention must be made in a few words of a fact 
more or less coincident with the establishment of von Baum- 
hauer's bureau, and which was to yield results important 
to the development of our statistics, namely, the formation, 
on the ihitiative of Professor de Bosch Kemper, of a small 
circle of statisticians, which, originating in 1849, quickly 
grew into the Union for Statistics, and was formally or- 
ganized in 1856. The Union first issued an annual booklet 
purporting to be a periodical collection of statistical trea- 
tises rather than a " statistical abstract. " Subsequently the 
Union undertook the publication of broadly devised general 
statistics of the Netherlands, which appeared in two large 
volumes, in 1870 and 1873. Also through the discussion 
at their annual meetings of subjects of an economic or 
statistical nature, the members of the Union greatly pro- 
moted the newly awakened interest in statistics and, as will 
be seen, even tried to supply for a time the need of a statis- 
tical bureau. 

In 1876 von Baumhauer resigned as director of the sta- 
tistical bureau in the Department of Internal Affairs and 
was succeeded by the son of Professor de Bosch Kemper. 
He was inspired with great zeal to aid in the development 
of statistics, among other things, by the establishment of 
city bureaus; he had to contend, however, with the lack of 
interest in statistics on the part of the then minister, who 
went so far even as to abolish the Division of Statistics in 
1878, thirty years after its establishment. An attempt made 
by the new government of 1879 to create an official and 
permanent Central Bureau for Statistics, independent of 
the other departments, was opposed by the second chamber 
of the States General. But a subsidy to the above-mentioned 
Union was approved. Strengthened by this means, the 
Union undertook to issue various statistics of an economic 
nature, and from publishing a year-book for the first time in 


1882, in the spirit of the "Statistical Abstract," it went so 
far, with the assistance of the municipality of Amsterdam, 
as to establish in 1884 its own Statistical Institute, so-called, 
in the University buildings at Amsterdam, and of which 
Dr. A. Beaujon, simultaneously appointed professor in 
statistics, became director. This Institute issued a scien- 
tific statistical periodical besides the "Jaarcyfers" (the 
statistical abstract) to which was added in 1889, for the first 
time, a second part devoted to the colonies. 

Although the government assisted the Institute to the 
extent of its power and repeatedly consulted it on matters 
of a statistical nature, it soon became apparent that a private 
institution lacked the necessary authority to bring about 
the desirable improvements in official statistics as well as 
to secure the necessary expansion in the field of statistical 
observations. For that reason the Union again m-ged the 
government to establish a Central Bureau for Statistics. 
The ministry, which came into power in 1891, and in which, 
among others, the former chairman of the Union for Statis- 
tics, Pierson, had a seat, took the matter up. The ministry 
dared not yet to decide upon the establishment of a Central 
Bureau, after the experience had with the former motion 
having the same end in view. But by a royal decree of 
October 6, 1892, it called into being a Central Commission 
for Statistics with which there should be connected a 
bureau working under the secretary and charged with the 
collection, compilation and the publishing of such statistical 
data as the Commission might consider useful for practical 
or scientific purposes. Dr. W. A. Baron von Verschuer was 
appointed chairman of the Commission and as secretary 
the writer, who had already taken up the position of tempo- 
rary director of the Statistical Institute after the death 
of Beaujon in 1890. As members of the Commission 
were appointed representatives of science, of the depart- 
ments having more particularly to do with statistics of 
various kinds, and of the different great groups of social 
life (among these — a remarkable fact for those days — also 


a representative of the social democracy). The Statistical 
Institute could now be dissolved. The Central Commission 
took over the compilation of the "Jaarcyfers," and the 
Union for Statistics transformed itself into a Union for 
Political Economy and Statistics which henceforth was to 
work in the spirit of the well-known "Verein fiir SozialpoK- 
tik" in Germany, and during the past twenty two years 
it has contributed a great deal by its writings and discussions, 
which were occasioned by the former, to the development 
of social economic thought in the Netherlands. 

The Central Commission, which soon undertook the pub- 
lication of "Maandcyfers" (monthly figures) besides the 
issue of the "Jaarcyfers" (yearly figures), began also to 
enlarge the scope of statistical observation, especially in 
social matters. Statistics of labor unions, of wages and 
hours of labor, of the course of land prices, of the consump- 
tion of articles of food and means of enjoyment, of mortality 
in the different professions, of school truancy, of the relation 
between prosperity (birth rate) and child mortality, etc., 
were cornpiled and published by them. Besides, it was 
repeatedly called upon to aidvise the government in regard 
to the Census of 1899 to which it added an enumeration of 
occupations and dwellings, as well as in regard to almost all 
statistics issued by or under the direction of the departments 
of the general administration. According to the decree of 
1892, the government was, moreover, under obligation to 
confer with the Commission before modifying or extending 
the statistics compiled by the different departments. In 
regard to this part of the Commission's activity it need only 
be pointed out that as a result of its advice the judicial and 
prison statistics (respectively those of 1896 and 1899) were 
thoroughly reorganized, and at the same time the so-called 
"casiers judiciaires" and anthropometric descriptions in 
accordance with the system of A. Bertillon were introduced. 

From the nature of the case, however, the weight of the 
activities of the Central Commission was directed toward 
the independent collection and compilation of statistics. 


But its organization was not altogether suitable. After 
the death in 1898 of its first chairman, the Commission at 
laiSt took the initiative and approached the government 
with the request that it grant Dutch statistics the kind of 
organization necessary to its proper development, namely, 
the establishment of a central bureau in addition to the 
Central Commission. The government, at whose head Dr. 
Pierson stood at that time, received the suggestion favorably, 
and by the royal decree of January 9, 1899, the Commission 
was reorganized and a Central Bureau of Statistics created 
alongside of it. The Commission now became exclusively 
an advisory board, but preserved a connection with the 
Bureau to the extent that the estimates and yearly reports 
of the Bureau were to be transmitted to the Commission 
and forwarded by it to the government with its recommenda- 
tion. Fiui;hermore, the Bureau, whose director is also a 
member of the Central Commission, might not undertake 
any new statistical researches or publications nor discontinue 
those already existing without the authorization of the 
Commission, which on its part may issue orders to the Bureau 
that must be complied with, except that an appeal can be 
made to the minister. The independence of the Bureau in 
its relation to the government is guaranteed by the stipula- 
tion that not the government- but exclusively the Central 
Commission may give orders to the Central Bureau. The 
writer was named as the first Director of the Central Bureau 
and in 1906 was succeeded by the present director, Dr. H. 
W. Methorst. In 1899 Dr. Kerdijk became chairman of 
the Central Commission and was succeeded in 1905 by Dr. 
Pierson, after whose resignation in 1907 the writer was 
appointed chairman. 

In its development the organization given to the Dutch 
statistics in 1899, the main features of which we have 
sketched, proved to be highly progressive. In the first place, 
by the estabhshment of a Central Bureau there was realized 
a centralization of statistical undertakings through the trans- 


fer to the Central Bureau of the statistics which until now 
had been compiled by the different departments. 

The Central Bureau was thus successively charged with 
the compilation of the total population statistics, the elec- 
tion statistics, the statistics of pauper relief, the judicial and 
prison statistics, the statistics of savings banks and loan 
banks, the data which the. Chamber of Labor had gathered 
on socio-economic questions, the statistics of the govern- 
ment finances, and those of ground credits. This central- 
ization was completed in 1906, with the exception of the 
statistics of agriculture, of lunatic asylums, and of com- 
merce and shipping, which were still prepared and published 
by the respective departments under which they belonged. 
The transfer of the last mentioned group of statistics to the 
Central Bureau is under way. In connection with it, a 
complete revision of these thoroughly defective statistics 
must be made and toward which the Central Commission 
had already repeatedly urged the government to take steps 
and to consider the plan worked out for this piu-pose. 

Whatever inay be thought in general about the desirability 
of centralizing statistical work, there is no doubt that, so 
far as the Netherlands is concerned, it has served to increase 
the intrinsic value of the statistics in a remarkable degree. 
Moreover, the collection of fundamental facts by the Cen- 
tral Bureau was in many respects improved by using the 
card counting system where possible; and by preferring to 
have the compilations made in this manner directly by the 
Bureau from the original data without the intervention of 
other officials; finally, the scope of the statistics transferred 
to the Bureau were enlarged in different respects and their 
usefulness increased by providing the tabular statements 
with rational introductions in which the results are sum- 
marized and compared with those of former years. 

Beyond seeking to improve the existing statistics, the 
activity of the Bureau was directed to the extension of 
the regular statistical observation service, especially in the 
domain of social statistics. Indeed, the development of 


this field is not, as elsewhere, entrusted to a separate labor 
bureau but to the Central Bureau. Thus in 1899, the com- 
pilation of statistics of the communal provincial finances 
was imdertaken, and a beginning made in 1901 toward the 
regular publication of strike statistics, statistics of wages 
and working hours in government establishments, and sta- 
tistics of elections of representative bodies. In 1902 the 
first issue was made of a statistical labor periodical, which 
originally appeared every quarter and since 1906 every 
month. In 1903, an annual publication of statistics of the 
oflPenses against the most important social laws was begun, 
and furthermore, in 1908, in addition to a few works of an 
historical statistical nature, the statistics of the public 
libraries were published. 

It may therefore be said that Dutch statistics are now 
conducted on approved lines tending to continue their 
development.* Among the measures which may prove 
conducive to it there is to be noted in the first place, besides 
the already mentioned reorganization of commercial statis- 
tics, the introduction of the individual card system in the 
population register which is expected soon to take place. 
The population register was introduced into all communities 
in the Netherlands by a royal decree of 1849 and was finally 
provided for by the law of April 17, 1887, with the ap- 
pended measures for putting it into effect. All persons, 
who are actual residents of a community or have there 
their usual and continued residence in it, are entered in the 
communal register, with statements as to date of birth, 
sex, civil standing, occupation, religious confession, and 
such changes as may have occurred in several of these 
particulars. In case of one- settling in a community or 
departing from it, notice must be given within a very short 
time, under the penalty of a fine, and in regard to births, 
marriages and deaths a close relation exists between the 

*The Central Bureau has under the Director 70 officials and clerks, and, without 
reckoning the costs of administration, an annual budget of 120,000 francs, more 
or less. 


registers of the registrar's office and the registers of popu- 
lation, the latter containing a regularly compiled description 
of the inhabitants of every community, and rendering 
extremely important services to the administration in many 
ways. At every decennial census the census registers are 
carefully compared with the population enumeration cards, 
and any errors that may have been made are rectified. 

The purpose of the intended reorganization is to give the 
census registers, which now exist almost without exception 
in the shape of books, the form of card catalogs. A card 
will then be filled out for every person at his birth or upon 
his settlement in the country which will contain all kinds 
of demographic particulars about his descent and his person, 
data in regard to the latter being, of course, kept up or 
modified when it is necessary. These cards will follow the 
person in case of a change of residence as long as he continues 
to live in the country. In case of death or upon departure 
to a foreign country, the contents of these cards are entered 
in permanent registers at the place of last residence, and 
the cards themselves are forwarded to the Central Bureau 
where they can be utilized for all kinds of demographic 
research, and will form invaluable material for the study of 
the population in regard to its composition and develop- 
ment. When this reform has been completed, the Dutch 
population statistics may be considered, without exaggera- 
tion, as the best in the world. 

Finally, in connection with the organization of the Dutch 
statistics, mention is still to be made of the establishment 
in 1894, at Amsterdam, of a municipal statistical bureau, 
which, under the direction of Dr. Falkenburg, has developed 
into a very useful force in municipal statistical matters. 
The example of Amsterdam was followed in 1910 by Utrecht, 
and in 1912 by 'sGravenhage. 

In concluding this sketch, it may be remarked that upon 
the appointment of the writer as "Secretaire-General" to 
the "Institut International de Statistique, " the seat of 
that body was transferred to The Hague in 1907, where it 


remained when he declined a renomination in 1911 and Dr. 
Methorst was chosen as his successor. 

At the meeting of the Institut held at Vienna in 1913 it 
was resolved to unite the General Secretaryship of the 
Institut with that of the International Bureau of Statistics 
established by the Institut at that time. Thus this bureau 
also has its seat at The Hague, and a great deal is justly 
expected from it for the development of international 

In the writer's opinion, it must be acknowledged in oneway 
and another that the Dutch statistics have already gained an 
honorable place beside those of other countries and have 
not been wanting in meeting their task, and now take their 
place iu the universal movement to extend the breadth and 
depth of om- knowledge in regard to the cultural develop- 
ment of man, and to which they have contributed so far as 


Annual Statistics of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: 
The Kingdom in Europe, 1898, 1899, 1900 to 1913 
The Colonies, 1897 to 1912 
Bulletin containing monthly numbers and other information in regard to the 

Netherlands and the colonies. New series, Nos. 1 to 29 
Appendices to the Bulletin: 

No. 2, investigation of the relation between prosperity and births and mor- 
bidity in the city of Rotterdam 
No. 4, the same in some cities and rural communities 
Review of the Central Biu«au of Statistics, 1901 — 
Contributions to the statistics of the Netherlands (new series): 
Apercu sur la Hollande par M. d'Alphonse 
The history of statistics in the Kingdom of the Netherlands 
Statistics of Population: 

Eighth general census of the population, Dec. 31, 1899, vols. 1 to 12 
Ninth census, 1909, vols. 1 to 3 
Appendix, vol. 1 
Density of population in the communes, the provinces and the kingdom: 

Appendix, vol. 2, mortality tables for the period 1900-1909, by Dr. A. J. van 

Appendix, vol. 3, the percentages of the total population belonging to the 

principal religious confessions for each commune of the Netherlands 
Results of the enumeration of occupation in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 

1899, vols. 1 to 12 
The same for 1909 

Introduction to the results of the eighth general census of popidation of the 
Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1899, and of the enumeration of occupations 
and dwellings 
Introduction to results of the ninth general census of population, 1909, and of 

the emmieration of occupations and dwellings 
Statistics of the movement of population in the Netherlands, 1900-1913 
Statistics of mortality according to age and causes of death, 1901-1913 
Statistics of mortality according to profession, age and the causes of death 

during the years 1896-1900 and 1896-1903 
Statistics of mortality according to age and the causes of death 
Supplement, 1901-1904 
Statistics of Libraries: 

Statistics of public and popular libraries, 1908 
Statistics of Bankruptcy: 

Statistics of bankruptcy in the Netherlands, 1902-1912 


Financial Statistics: 

Statistics of the income of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1903-1912 

Statistics of the finances of the communes, 1896-1899, 1900-1911 

Statistics of institutions for savings, 1898-1912 

Statistics of mortgages, 1901-1907, 1908-1912 
Judicial and Prison Statistics: 

Judicial statistics for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1900-1910 

Statistics of the application of the law for the protection of children, 1912 

Criminal statistics of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1900-1912 

Studies in criminal etiology; No. 1, sexual criminality; No. 2, the criminality 
of persons 70 years of age and upward 

Prison statistics, 1901-1912 

Statistics of judgments for the violation of labor laws and laws for the safety 
of workmen, 1904-1912 

Statistics of schools of correction and of the educational establishments of the 
state, 1906-1912 
Statistics of Electors and Elections: 

Statistics of electors, 1901-1914 (with a supplement of statistics of elections) 

Statistics of elections, 1901, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1910 and 1913 
Statistics of Compulsory Education: 

Statistics of the attendance and absences at primary schools 
Statistics of Wages: 

Survey of the wages and hours of labor in government work, 1899, 1902, 
1903, 1905, 1908 

Statistics of wages of workmen insured in conformity with the law relating 
to occupational accidents for the Province of Gelderland, 1904 

Statbtics of wages of laborers in textile industries insured in conformity with 
the law relating to occupational accidents, 1908 
Statistics of Prices: 

Average prices of cereals at the market of d'Amhem, 1544-1901 

Prices of cereals at the market of Middelburg, etc., 1901-1900 
Statistics of Poor Relief: 

Statistics of poor relief during 1902 to 1905, 1906 to 1911 
Statistics of Trade Unions in the Netherlands, 1905, 1907-1909, 1910-1913 
Statistics of Strikes and Lockouts: 

Statistics of strikes and lockouts, 1904-1912 
Statistics of Dwellings: 

Results of the statistics of dwellings, 1899, 1909 



By a. N. Kiaeb 

Chief and Director of the Statistical Bureau, 1867-1913 

A statistical bureau was first organized in Norway in the 
year 1837 as a tabulating oflBce in the Department of Finance, 
with a staff consisting of a chief of division (sous chef) and 
nine clerks. Since 1832 the work had been done by one 
chief clerk and two subordinates. However, official sta- 
tistical statements had been prepared long before this time, 
among which mention should be in the first instance made 
of the annual statements in regard to marriages, living births 
and deaths, the data being transmitted by the pastors of the 
different parishes in the country to their respective bishops, 
by whom they were correlated in proper tables. These vital 
statistics were begun in the year 1735 and have been printed 
for each of the years 1736 to 1865 in connection with the 
tables published in 1869 concerning the movement of popu- 
lation from 1856 to 1865. The first general enumeration of 
population occurred on August 15, 1769; but already 
in the year 1662 a census had been taken for military 
reasons, of all male persons from the twelfth year of age 
partly to the fourteenth, and of ages above. It was called 
the "Titus Bulcks Census," and contained valuable infor- 
mation about the number of inhabitants of the different 
districts and municipalities, and has been edited by Pro- 
fessor Aschehoug and later by a member of the Storting, 
Tallak Lindstbl. The population enumeration of 1769 
was followed by new enumerations on February 1, 1801, 
April 30, 1815, and later at the end of each decade until 
1875, in which year the enumeration was postponed until 
1890 in order to bring it into correspondence with the time 
at which most population enumerations in other countries 
take place. 


Beside these statistical statements of populations, there 
were prepared at the instigation of the Department of Fi- 
nance tabular surveys of the goods imported from abroad at 
the different custom houses, as well as of the goods exported 
to other countries, of the arrivals and departures of ships, 
the size of the mercantile marine and its increase through 
building and decrease by shipwreck. These commercial 
statements are in part of quite ancient date; thus there is to 
be found information in regard to the ships hailing from the 
different customs ports from the years 1770-1780, as well 
as in regard to imports and exports at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century, although no complete tables were pub- 
lished before 1835. 

The basis of some of the last-mentioned statements is a 
royal resolution of May 31, 1797, which decreed the estab- 
lishment of a tabulating office under the Rentekammer in 
Copenhagen, and here were prepared tables relating to the 
movement of population, commerce, shipping, factories and 
industries, censuses of population, etc. 

Upon the separation from Denmark, the statistical work 
was placed under the Department of Finance, Commerce 
and Customs in Christiania. Meanwhile no separate sta- 
tistical office existed during the first years subsequent to 

In accordance with a royal resolution of 1825, which com- 
manded all the governors of provinces to send in reports 
concerning the condition of the districts in their charge in 
general and particularly with reference to agriculture, stock- 
farming, forestry and mining, fisheries, home and art indus- 
tries, commerce and shipping, as well as other means of 
livelihood, the Norwegian government, following the recom- 
mendation of the Department of Finance, Commerce and 
Customs, October 28, 1828, presented to the king the reports 
received from the governors of provinces for the year 1827, 
accompanied by a brief analysis together with some tables 
appertaining to them. A new royal resolution of 1827 
ordered that these reports should be published every five 


years according to a somewhat detailed program, which, 
among other things, included statistical statements for each 
district concerning water- and wind-mills, steam-engines, 
horses, cattle, reindeer, etc. 

The first report prepared according to these regulations 
was published in 1829, and consequently the next should 
have been published in 1834; but as it was anticipated that 
at the close of the following year a general population enu- 
meration would take place, the Finance Department decided 
that the term to be covered by the reports should this time 
be extended to six years, but subsequently should appear 
every five years as first determined. 

In a statement by the Finance Department, approved by 
royal resolution in 1839, and in which a new and completer 
plan was made the basis of the reports in question and the 
statistical data accompanying them, the department ex- 
presses itself, among other things, as follows : 

"It was not to be expected that so difficult and inclusive 
an arrangement (as the one relating to the earlier reports) 
could at once be made so complete that there should not be 
occasion for several essential improvements. Especially, 
while examining the reports of provinces for the purpose of 
extracting from them a general siu"vey of the economic con- 
ditions of the country and the trend of the means of liveli- 
hood throughout the whole country, the Department came 
to recognize that the statistical facts upon which the govern- 
ors of provinces had based their judgment as to the condi- 
tion of the provinces are so lacking in imiformity and leave 
so many holes that hardly any tabular survey and compara- 
tively few common and general results can be deduced." 

Detailed instructions were therefore prepared contained 
in seventeen different paragraphs with appertaining forms 
— ^all of which are printed in connection with the report of 
the Department, or of the economic conditions of the King- 
dom of Norway for the five years, 1836-1840. This report, 
as well as the planning of the statistical program fixed by 
royal resolution of 1839, which for a number of years was of 



fundamental importance to. the economic and social statis- 
tics of Norway, are due, in the first instance, to Judge Jens 
Kraft who is also the author of the monumental work, 
"Topographical and Statistical description of the Kingdom 
of Norway," of which the first part was published in 1820, 
and the last in 1835. An abridged edition of this work 
appeared in 1845-1848. In this connection should be men- 
tioned another conspicuous work in the field of statistics 
which was published under the title, "The Statistics of 
Norway," edited by A. Schweigaard. Unfortunately, this 
eminent political economist, statistician and statesman did 
not find time to complete it on account of his very active 
participation in our public life. Only the first half con- 
taining his introduction, and dealing with the means of 
subsistence and population is published; but the work was 
continued after the beginning of the fifties and finished by 
M. B. Tvethe. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that also during the 
time preceding the establishment of the statistical bureau in 
1837, to which reference has been made, not a little was 
done, and chiefly at the instigation of the Department of 
Finance, for the development of the oflficial statistics of 

With the year 1838 began the regular publication of official 
Statistical Tables for the Kingdom of Norway. The first of 
this series contained tables of the population in Norway as of 
November 29, 1825. The result of the enumerations held in 
1769, 1801, 1815, and 1825 were not at the time printed for 
public account but brought out in different private works, 
Materialien zur Statistick der Danischen Staaten, Flens- 
burg und Leipzig, 1786, Norske Rigstidende, 1815 and 1816, 
Budstikken, and other publications of which a complete 
account is given in the official work appearing in 1882: 
Contributions to the Norwegian Population Statistics, p. 205 
et seq., in which is also given an account of the methods used 
at the older enumerations. 

The second series, published in 1839, contain tables of the 


cultivated area and live-stock in Norway as of November 
29, 1835; and the third series (likewise published in 1839), 
has tables relating to commerce and shipping of Norway in 
the year 1835. 

Until 1860 there were in all published twenty difiPererit 
series of tables covering the numbers of the population, its 
movement, agriculture, live-stock, together with commerce 
and shippiQg, the whole being prepared in the Statistical 
Tabulating Office, which, in 1846, was transferred from the 
Department of Finance to the Department of the Interior 
and was conducted by a chief of bureau and nine clerks. 

Aside from these series, there were pubhshed every five 
years the above-mentioned reports relative to the economic 
condition of the country and of the provinces, until 1851- 
1855 inclusive. 

All these works, with their complete titles and dates of 
publication, are cited in the List of Norway's Official Sta- 
tistics, together with various Statistical Works 1828 to 1889, 
published by the Central Statistical Bureau in 1889. 

It may furthermore be noted that in 1840 the Ecclesias- 
tical and Educational Department published very extensive 
statistical tables in regard to the condition of education at 
the end of 1827, and that this work was continued for the 
years 1840 and 1853, whereupon the statistics of schools 
was incorporated as a regular part of the official statistics 
of Norway. 

In 1861 a new arrangement was effected by royal resolu- 
tion in respect to the publication of the official statistical 
works, as it was ordered that all tabular statements and 
reports prepared by the different departments of the govern- 
ment should be published in specific size (4°) and form a 
collection under the title. The Official Statistics of Norway; 
the different works to be designated according to their 
subject by separate letters and numbers, which were to be 
retained imchanged at each subsequent publication of the 
same kind. For the purpose of this collection each Depart- 
ment of the government was allotted its letter; thus the 


Ecclesiastical and Educational Departments received the 
letter A; the Department of Justice, the letter B; the De- 
partment of the Interior, the letter C. Within the letters 
thus fixed, the difiFerent works were given their respective 
numbers; thus the statistics of population, C 1; the quin- 
quennial reports, C 2; commerce and shipping, C 3; etc., as 
may be seen in the "List" just referred to. A certain num- 
ber of copies of each work was to be placed at the disposal 
of the Central Statistical Bureau through which the general 
distribution should take place. In the course of the follow- 
ing! y63,rs the number of oflScial statistical publications 
increased steadily and came to include more and more 
divisions of the social and economic life of our people. 

In the first part of the seventies it was determined by 
royal resolution, after consideration among representatives 
of the different bureaus in which the various parts of the 
official statistics of Norway were prepared, that in all works 
belonging under them, the civil divisions should form the 
basis so far as possible, while the data previously gathered 
had^been furnished according to ecclesiastical or other 

As the continual growth of the material necessitated a 
remodelling of the statistical organization, its chief sub- 
mitted a report to the Department of the Interior in 1875 
in which the desirability of giving the office a more inde- 
pendent position was emphasized. This thought gained 
adherence both in the government and Storting, and accord- 
ingly the existing tabulating office in the Department of the 
Interior was transformed into an independent institution 
under this Department and named "The Central Statistical 
Bureau," with a director as its head, who was given com- 
paratively wide authority; in addition, the Bureau was en- 
titled to its separate budget. 

Its field of work includes the whole of economic statistics 
except the part which is prepared imder special expert 
direction (such as statistics of finance, railways, post office, 
telegraph, etc.). Under the administration of the Central 


Statistical Bureau were placed, furthermore, the enumer- 
ations of population, the annual tables relating to the move- 
ment of population, wages, and in general all the branches of 
statistics which did not belong to special expert administra- 
tions, among which, in addition to those already noted, may 
be mentioned the medical and sanitary statistics, statistics 
of insanity, statistics of recruiting, etc. 

Commencing with 1881, all of the official statistical works 
of Norway were published in octavo instead of the previous 
quarto form. The division of the statistical publications 
according to letters and numbers established in 1861 were 
retained, however, until 1885 when it was superseded by a 
simpler system of numbering the different works consecu- 
tively after their publication. 

When this new third series in the year 1900 had reached 
number 345, No. 4 was begun, which ended in 1905 with 
No. 130, since when until now (February 1914) there has 
appeared of series No. 5, 19 different numbers, including al- 
most all the fields that are subject to statistical observation. 

For information about the subjects contained in these 
series, reference is made to the previously mentioned hst, 
published in 1889, and a new one of 1913. In each of the 
later years there had been published about thirty different 
works which are incorporated in the collection "The Official 
Statistics of Norway"; but outside of it, there have been 
published several statistical works of marked importance 
and of an official character. Among these mention should 
first be made of the Statistical Year Book, the first volume, 
edited in French, appearing in 1879, which since has been 
published regularly each year and in the latest years ex- 
panded by an International Appendix prepared jointly by 
the bureaus of the three Scandinavian countries. This Year 
Book had, however, a predecessor, in a Statistical Hand- 
book for the Kingdom of Norway published in 1871 by 
the writer; also in Resume des Renseignements Statistique 
sur la Norvege, officially published in 1875. Furthermore 
should be mentioined the monthly publication begun in 


1882 under the title, "Communications of the Central Sta- 
tistical Bureau," the social statistical monthly publication 
"The Labor Market" begun in 1904, and the monthly sta- 
tistics, dating from 1913, of the imports and exports of 
Norway, which supplanted the quite summary data on the 
same subject contained in the above-mentioned Communi- 
cations; also the very detailed tabular statements which in 
1898 to 1900 and 1907 to 1910 were published in regard to 
the conditions of income in Norway, partly by parhamentary 
and partly by the departmental social-insurance committee. 

Finally, mention must be made of the Statistique Inter- 
nationale de la Navigation Maritime, published in three 
volumes in the years 1876-1887 at the request of the Inter- 
national Statistical Congress. A Norwegian edition of this 
work appeared in 1887 relating to the merchant marines and 
in 1877 relative to the movement of shipping surveys which 
so far as principal subjects are concerned have been con- 
tinued in the international part of the above-mentioned 
statistical works. 

While the statements given above afford some idea of the 
outer frame of the development which the Norwegian sta- 
tistics have undergone in the course of the nearly three 
generations that have passed since the first official reports 
in regard to the economic conditions of the country were 
published in the year 1828, it may be said that a no less 
important development gradually has made itself felt rela- 
tive to the objects and methods of the statistical observa- 

In regard to the objects at which the observations chiefly 
aim, it may be said that they, so far as economic statistics 
are concerned, even a good bit beyond the middle of the last 
century, were principally occupied with production, the 
means of production, and values; but the question of the 
conditions under which producers and their workers and 
helpers live, in other words, the social side of production, 
remained more in the background, although it would bie 
too much to say that it was wholly overlooked. To be 


sure, already as early as in the thirties and later every five 
years, information was sought in regard to the wages of 
servants and the customary daily pay of working men in 
the different districts; but this information was of quite a 
summary character and was altogether wholly overshadowed 
by the very much more complete data with which it was 
sought to illustrate the conditions of production in regard 
to agriculture, live-stock, mining and industries, fisheries, 
commerce and shipping, as well as the activity of institu- 
tions for savings, the communal finances and economy of 
the state. Meantime, in the course of the last generations, 
social questions came more and more into the foreground, a 
development which also has left its mark on the statistics 
as data were continually sought for the purpose of shedding 
light on social conditions, so that the statistics may be said 
to be concerned increasingly with men while they formerly 
in a predominating degree have been concerned with things 
and values of production. 

In this connection I ought not to omit mention of a Nor- 
wegian sociologist and statistician who has paved the way 
for our social statistics as well as for significant portions of 
the population statistics. I have in mind the well-known 
philanthropist and author, Eilert Sundt (1817-1875) who, 
through his works Gypsies and Tramps (1850), Marriages 
(1855), MortaUty (1855), the Condition of Morality (1857), 
The Conditions of Sobriety (1859), Building Customs in 
the Country (1862), Home Industries (1867), Hygienic Con- 
ditions (1869) etc., created an original literature which is 
of a very significant importance and not least in respect to 
the social domain. 

Of the results of the ofllcial statistics in this field it may 
first be mentioned that at all censuses of population taken 
since 1876 data have been obtained not only in regard to 
the distribution of the inhabitants according to means of 
livelihood, but also according to their independent, superior 
or subordinate positions in the different branches of pro- 
duction, as well as their distribution within each branch of 


production and occupation, by age, sex, and conjugal con- 

The data which afford a completer insight into the status 
and progress of wages within the different branches of the 
productive life, and especially of industry, should probably 
be reckoned as of more direct social significance. As not of 
least significance may be counted the comparatively well- 
rounded information which has been obtained for Norway 
in regard to the conditions of income also outside of the 
wage-earning classes proper, as well as in regard to condi- 
tions of wealth; and I will even venture to assert that with- 
out data that give information concerning the conditions of 
income in the different strata of society, from the wage- 
earning and middle class to those at the social pinnacle, 
even the very full information relative to working men's 
wages loses a good deal of its value. For in order to esti- 
mate the importance of such data from a social point of 
view, it is necessary to view them in relation to incomes in 
the other social classes; otherwise there is no basis for com- 
parison and the numbers remain without rational connec- 
tion. Just on this account so much stress has been laid in 
Norway during later years on promoting knowledge not 
only about working men's wages, but also in regard to the 
conditions of income and wealth as a whole; and I wish 
especially to point out that a mass of information has been 
obtained showing the relation between the small and large 
incomes as well as how these relations appear in combina- 
tion with the environment of the persons in question, their 
ages, civil condition and occupation. 

For the rest, the development of social statistics has also 
gained expression in other ways; for instance, through data 
relative to the prices of the necessaries of life, working men's 
budgets, strikes, unemployment, hours of labor, etc. It 
must be confessed, however, that in these respects the Nor- 
wegian statistics as a whole are a good deal backward, but 
the state has taken a step of great promise for the future 
development of social statistics by the establishment (July 


1, 1914) of a separate oflBce for social statistics under the 
Department for Social Affairs, Commerce, Industries, and 
Fisheries. This office is particularly to devote its attention 
to the conditions of the wage-earning classes, but neverthe- 
less the Central Statistical Bureau will probably not lose 
sight of the social side of general statistics. 

So far as statistical methods are concerned, the rule ob- 
tained until 1865 that the different subordinate and superior 
administrative authorities saw to the compilation and group- 
ing into the prescribed statistical tables of the data gleaned 
from the original documents. Thus the Statistical Bureau 
had only the comparatively easy task of making some sum- 
maries from the ready-made tables, see them through the 
press and to a limited extent to point out the chief results 
which they afforded. Meanwhile, the defects connected 
with this method were recognized, namely, that an effective 
control of the correctness of the material could not be 
maintained as there was no opportunity for comparing 
the tables received with the original data prepared by the 
authorities concerned. And this was all the more seri- 
ous, as these authorities, whose principal labor and chief 
interests lay within other fields than the statistical, might 
be inclined to consider statistics as a burden, so that 
even conscientious officials and workers had no special in- 
ducement to expend more labor on them than necessary. 
For the same reason, the method in question necessitated 
the limiting, so far as feasible, of the demands which could 
be made for statistical data. If, however, the Statistical 
Bureau were to gain access to the original data the most 
trustworthy and at the same time the most complete utiliza- 
tion of them could be guaranteed. 

In recognition of this it was determined, in the first place, 
that the population enumeration held at the close of 1865 
should be made in such a manner that in place of the tabular 
statements hitherto used nominative count should be made 
of all inhabitants with notation for each individual, of name, 
domicile, age, conjugal condition, occupation, place of birth. 


religious confession, etc. These notations, in their original 
form, were sent to the Bureau division established for the 
purpose, which undertook further work in regard to them. 

The same system was put into effect beginning with the 
year 1866, in regard to the annual data of marriages, births, 
deaths and emigrants, and has gradually been extended to 
most of the fields with which the Norwegian statistics are 
occupied. There remains to be considered a very important 
branch, namely, statistics of goods imported from abroad. 
The statistical tables concerning imports are based upon 
monthly summaries prepared by the different custom houses, 
while both the statistics of shipping and statistics of exports 
are based upon individual returns; but in regard to the ex- 
ports by sea, in such a manner that a collective statement is 
made for outgoing shipment of the goods of different 
kinds exported, but not special returns for each individual 

It should be added, however, that several years ago the 
Central Statistical Bureau advanced a proposition to intro- 
duce the individual system also for statistics of commerce, 
and that a law of 1907 concerning the collection of data for 
the official statistics, among other things, grants opportunity 
to require importers and exporters to furnish the statements 
needed in the case. 

In regard to methodology it may, furthermore, be remarked 
that the compilation of the schedules of population, at the 
enumeration for 1865, as well as those of marriages, births 
and deaths in the years 1866 and 1867, was undertaken by 
means of the so-called tallying system, but that already in 
securing the corresponding data for 1868 individual cards 
were used. This system also was utilized at the population 
enumeration of January 1, 1876. Later on a further step 
was taken, as the individual data communicated by the 
respective officials were required to be returned on individ- 
ual blanks instead of on lists; and this method was put 
into effect also at the population enumeration of January 1, 
1891, as well as in the case of several other data which were 


adapted to a similar treatment, for instance, in regard to 
the arrivals and departures of ships, crime, civil judicial 
cases, etc. 

After acquaintance was had with the Hollerith electrical 
machines a return to the system of schedules occurred in 
large measure as it was easier to punch cards from them 
than from individual returns. The Hollerith system was 
employed in Norway for the first time in the compilation of 
the statistics of incomes and wealth for 1891 and has since 
steadily been in use, although on account of the small popu- 
lation of the country it proves to be comparatively expen- 
sive except in connection with the census of population 
itself. In regard to the statistical methods employed in 
Norway it is still to be mentioned that representative (sam- 
ple) investigations have been resorted to extensively which 
have given satisfactory results in different fields, especially 
so far as income statistics are concerned. 

The oflScial statistics of Norway are at the present time 
organized as follows : 

There is first a Central Statistical Bureau established by 
royal resolution of 1875. This institution operates inde- 
pendently although under the control of the Department 
for Social Affairs, Commerce, Industry and Fisheries. The 
tasks to be undertaken are determined by the director of 
the Bureau within the limits permitted by the appropria- 
tions of the Storting and hitherto estabhshed practice. He 
also has authority to appoint and discharge all the func- 
tionaries engaged at the Bureau except the three chiefs 
of divisions who are nominated by the king. The director, 
furthermore, apportions the work among the chiefs of divi- 
sions as well as among other functionaries of the Bureau. 
In the fall of each year the director presents his budget 
recommendation for the following term. The proposition 
made is next considered by the department under whose 
control the Bureau stands, whereupon the department makes 
its proposals to the government which, in turn, recommends 
a budget with or without changes from that advocated by 


the Bureau. Thereafter the matter comes before the Stort- 
ing which has the final decision in regard to the size of the 
budget. The budget granted for the present term (Jan- 
uary 7, 1913-March 6, 1914) amounts to 135,045 kroner. 
On extraordinary occasions, as in the case of enumerations 
of population, agriculture, industries, special appropriations 
of considerable magnitude are made, as, for instance, at 
the population enumeration taken of December, 1910, 
317,000 kroner; and at the agriculture census of 1907, 
97,500 kroner. 

The personnel of the Bureau consists of a director, three 
chiefs of divisions who are at the head of the three sections 
into which the work of the Bureau falls according to the 
decision of the director; furthermore, twenty two first clerks 
and assistant clerks and as a rule sixteen assistants are regu- 
larly employed in the Bureau but without fixed appointment. 
At certain times, especially in case of population enumera- 
tions, the number of assistants is greatly augmented; thus 
on the occasion of the last population enumeration, a sep- 
arate office was established under the control of one of the 
division chiefs, who received extra compensation, with a 
woman as sub-manager, and where about eighty assistants 
were occupied. 

Aside from the Central Statistical Bureau, several bureaus 
in the different departments of the government and in other 
official offices are regularly engaged in statistical work. 
These are the above-mentioned office for social statis- , 
tics, the statistical office of the state railways and office 
divisions in the Medical Department, the Department 
of Justice, the Department of Finance, the Department of 
Church and Education, the Department of Defense, the 
General Post Office, Telegraph Office, Navigation Office 
(which prepares lists of the mercantile marine while the 
statistics of shipping in general are in charge of the Central 
Statistical Bureau), the State Insurance Institution, where 
the annual statistics of industries are prepared (the 
enumeration of manufacturing establishments, of 1909, was 


in charge of the Bureau), and the Bureau of Fisheries 
in Bergen which has direction of the statistics of fisheries. 
Outside of the central administration there is, however, only 
one statistical bureau, namely. The Statistical OflSce of the 
Commune of Christiania which, among other things, pub- 
lishes a valuable year book, while the Health Commission 
of the same commune publishes an annual report. 

With reference to the training which is demanded of the 
persons to whom the conduct of the work discussed is en- 
trusted, no fixed rules are prescribed. In practice, it is 
required of those in charge of the higher positions of the 
Central Statistical Bureau that they shall have university 
training in political economy, statistics and law. In the 
other branches of the administration in which statistics are 
compiled no special training in statistics is demanded; but 
for the rest the different administrations demand a special 
professional training. In regard to the subordinate posi- 
tions in the Central Statistical Bureau weight is laid, so 
far as the first clerks are concerned, on training in social 
economics, especially as a few years ago there were exami- 
nations in political science introduced at our University. 
Many functionaries in the Bureau are engaged in tasks 
requiring especially exactness in calculation and a trust- 
worthy character generally; their qualifications are tested 
principally through the practical work with which the Bu- 
reau entrusts them. 

An extensive chronological and systematic list, with Nor- 
wegian and French texts, was published in 1913 of the 
regularly and occasionally appearing works belonging to the 
official statistics of Norway from July 1, 1899, to December 
31, 1910. Besides, on the covers of each number of the 
collection in question is given a chronological list in both 
languages of the works published in more recent years; 
thus, for example, in the statistics designated as No. 219 of 
the Fifth Series there is found an account of ninety one 
statistical works published partly annually and partly at 
intervals of years, printed in 1911, 1912, and 1913. 


The systematic survey below notes which works are annual 
and which not: 

1. Populaiion Statistics: 

(a) Enumerations of Population, every ten years. 

(b) The Movement of Population: annual statistics with a quinquennial 


(c) Life and Mortality tables, every ten years. 

(d) Divorce and Separation, occasionally. 

2. Election Statistics: 

(a) Elections to the Storting, every three years. 

(b) Communal Elections, every third year. 

3. The Statistics of Recruiting, annually. 
Jf. The Civil Medical Service: 

(a) Health Conditions and Medical Conditions, annually. 

(b) The Lepers, quinquennially. 

(c) Veterinary Affairs, annually. 

(d) Hospitals for the Insane, annually. 
6. Judicial Statistics: 

(a) Criminal Statistics, biennially and annually, with summaries, criminal 

court statistics, biennially. 

(b) Statistics of Estates, biennially and annually with summary. 

6. Penal Institutions and Prison Affairs: 

(a) Penal Institutions, annually. 

(b) District Prisons, aimually. 

(c) Year Book of the prison government, annually. 

7. Educational Affairs every fifth year, vnih surveys. 

8. Technical Schools, annually. 

9. RealEstate, Agriculture, Forestry: 

(a) Real Estate, every ten years. 

(b) Agriculture, Live-stock, every five years. 

(c) Censuses of Agricultme, occasionally. 

10. Fisheries, annually: 

Insurance of fishermen (new 1909), probably from now on annually. 

11. Mines, annually. 

12. Manufactures, Industrial Conditions: 

(a) Factories, annually, censuses of factories, occasionally. 

(b) Accident Insurance 1895 to 1907, qumquennially, triennially, biennially 

and annually. 

13. Transportation and Communication: 

(a) Railways, annually. 

(b) Government Telegraph, aimually. 

(c) Postal Affairs, aimually. 
H. Commerce and Shipping: 

(a) Commerce, annually and monthly. 

(b) Shipping, annually. 


15. Banking: 

(a) Institutions for Savings, annually. 

(b) Private Banks, annually. 

(c) Stock Companies, at intervals, 1906 to 1910. 

16. Social Conditions: 

(a) Social Statistics: wages, every five years. Different other conditions, 


(b) Neglected Children. 

(c) Statistics of Alcohol, occasionally. 

17. Insurance: 

(a) Fire Insurance, quinquennially (but contains data for each year). 

(b) In regard to Marine Insurance, Life Insurance, data may be found for 

each year in the Communications from the Statistical Biureau. 

18. Finance: 

(a) Finances of the State Treasury, of which statistics are published every 

five years, while a full account is rendered annually in connection with 
the documents of the Storting which are not incorporated in the col- 
lected official statistics of Norway. 

(b) Communal Finances, annual statistics. 

In this connection it may be of some use to instance some 
of the oflScial works aJBfording a comparative oversight for a 
series of years. As such may be mentioned: 

1. Tables relative to the movement of population, in the years 1856 to 1865, 
contain data beginning with 1736. 

2. A survey of the movement of population, 1866 to 1885, containing a calcu- 
lation of the number of inhabitants in each of the years 1801 to 1885. 

3. Survey of the movement of population, 1866 to 1900. 

4. Contributions to the Norwegian population statistics. 

5. Survey of the most important results of the population enumerations 1891 
and 1900. 

6. The population of Norway 1846 to 1901. 

7. Criminal statistics 1846 to 1885, and 1886 to 1904. 

8. Statistics of fire insurance, 1847 to 1863, also including accounts for each of 
the years 1827 to 1846. 

The work mentioned under No. 6 includes for each of the 
years 1846 to 1901 a statement of the population of Norway 
distributed according to sex and age groups and for each 
year of life. In addition, several of the statistical publica- 
tions, among them the statistics of commerce, shipping, 
industries, and others, are accompanied by introductory 
surveys giving information about developments in the dif- 
ferent fields for a series of years. 


When it is asked what improvements may be desirable in 
respect to the future development of the Norwegian statis- 
tics, I am inclined to place special emphasis on the different 
subjects relating to social statistics, particularly the collec- 
tion of a suflScient number of household budgets to show 
the condition of consumption of the necessaries of life as 
well as of luxuries in the different social strata. To be sure, a 
beginning has been made, but very much is still left to do. 
A cognate matter is the further formulation of the statistics 
of income and wealth, of which it may be said, however, that 
so far as Norway is concerned a comparatively rich material 
has already been provided. Furthermore, as a desideratum 
of Norwegian statistics, I would mention statements show- 
ing the development of agriculture and forestry from year 
to year, aside from the calculations of crops, as hitherto we 
have been content with periodical studies of these means of 
livelihood. Reform in statistics of commerce is also needed 
by way of centralized compilation based upon the original 
declarations of importers and exporters. 

In respect to international statistical cooperation, the Nor- 
wegian statisticians, having had an opportunity for a great 
number of years, beginning as far back as 1855, to partici- 
pate in international statistical congresses and conferences 
in Europe and once also in the United States, have gained 
so rich an experience of the importance of this cooperation 
to the future development of statistics that I am confident 
they for the future will continue to make use of this source of 
progress. As an expression of this conviction, mention 
should be made of the regular meetings for discussion by 
the chiefs of the statistical bureaus of the three Scandinavian 
countries, which were begun in 1889 on the initiative of the 

While it must be freely acknowledged that the Nor- 
wegian statistics, in spite of their incompleteness, neverthe- 
less have made measurable progress in past generations, it 
is due, aside from the liberality shown by the Storting and 
government and other favorable conditions, in no small 


measure to the impulses received at the International Con- 
gresses. But first and last it must be said: "We have 
planted and watered but God gave the increase." 

Finally, for further information about the development 
of Norwegian statistics I would refer to an historical review 
of its activities prepared on the occasion of the twenty-fifth 
anniversary of the Bureau as an independent institution 
and included in the Communications from the Central 
Statistical Bureau, also to an article by Professor Rygg, 
the present director of the Bureau, written for the centennial 
jubilee of the Norwegian University in 1911, under the title 
Statistics and included in the memorial publication of the 
University. The first-mentioned account was also largely 
prepared by Professor Rygg and furnishes an excellent sur- 
vey of the development of the administrative statistics, while 
the second article, besides making interesting contributions 
in the respect just mentioned, is principally concerned with 
the scientific side of the Norwegian statistics and its older 
and new representatives. Both articles are profitable read- 
ing and have in part been utilized for the purposes of the 
present survey. In regard to the status of Norwegian sta- 
tistics in earlier years, reference may also be made to dif- 
ferent reports made in French which are incorporated in the 
summaries of the International Congresses. ^ 




Bt Dr. a. Kaufmann 

FrofessoT of Statistics at Petiogiad 

7. History and Organization 

The chief characteristic of the Russian administrative 
statistics is their extreme diversity which runs parallel with a 
difference quite as marked in organization and in results. 
To be sure, Russia possesses in name a Central Bureau of 
Statistics under the Ministry of the Interior which is sup- 
plemented by a Statistical Council (Statistitscheskij Ssow- 
jef), but it is only in name a central organ for statistics. 
Actually, it is simply a statistical bureau sorting under the 
Ministry of the Interior, which, in common with the numer- 
ous other statistical offices, is occupied with certain branches 
of administrative statistics and which, in regard to the per- 
sonnel and material means at its disposal, stands noticeably 
below several of them. 

The earliest beginnings of administrative statistics in 
Russia date from the first years of the nineteenth century. 
In 1802 a circular was issued by the first Russian Minister 
of the Interior, which obligated the provincial governors to 
transmit to the ministry "all the data that once for all are 
to be gathered from the provinces in order to supply as 
complete and thorough a knowledge of their conditions as 
possible. " At the same time there was established a "Board 
of Nobles" consisting of ten persons, some of whom were 
detailed to "arrange historically the information relating 
to the condition of the provinces" and thus provide the 
basis for the "general statistics" of Russia, in other words, 
statistics in the old sense of the term — a description of the 
"status." Of the activity of this statistical organization, 
which was such only in name, no traces are left. In 1810 the 


newly created Ministry of Police was given charge of the 
administration of statistics. A "statistical division" was 
established under this ministry and reorganized in 1817. It 
consisted of an "institution of the learned," a tabulating, 
and a cartographic bureau. The first of these was to work 
out matters of organization, extract the statistical contents 
from the reports of the governors and approve them, and 
to prepare the "statistical surveys," while the bureaus were 
charged with the tabulating and cartographic work. Some 
oflBcials were appointed to the division to gather locally the 
necessary facts for the production of the descriptive ma- 
terial. The statistical bureau was reorganized in 1834, 
this time as a part of the Ministry of the Interior, and was 
made into a council of higher officials of this ministry. "Per- 
sons having knowledge of and experience with the inner 
administration" were chosen as its correspondents, and it 
was made the special task of the division to provide an ex- 
tensive description of all the branches subordinate to the 
ministry. The statistical office in the Ministry of the In- 
terior remained in this form until 1852. From this period 
dates a series of "surveys" and "statistical tables," most of 
which related to the condition of the municipalities of Russia, 
while those appearing in 1852 had reference also to the prov- 

It is not worth while to dwell on the partial transforma- 
tion which the statistical office underwent in the years 1852 
and 1858. It should, however, be mentioned that the "Sta- 
tistical Committee," established in 1852, published the 
first "statistical tables of the Russian government in 1856," 
began to arrange "statistical expeditions" to the provinces, 
and that in 1858 it became known by its present name, the 
Central Statistical Office, which, however, in addition to 
the statistical division proper, also contained a division for 
"rural affairs." The duty of the former was stated to be 
"the collection, critical analysis, and systematic arrangement 
and compilation of all of the data useful to the Government 
in all the branches of the administration. " 


Thus the office was to provide not only the Ministry of 
the Interior but all other administrative departments with 
the necessary data and to publish them. It will be ob- 
served that at this stage of development the scientific sta- 
tistical task of the central office remained in the background. 
Indeed it is still nothing more than a kind of bureau of in- 
formation for the different branches of the administration. 

In 1861 the "division for rural affairs" was made a sepa- 
rate ministerial department, whereby the statistical division 
attained an independent position. In 1863 and 1875 it was 
given the form which in its essentials has been maintained 
until the present time, is patterned after the model evolved 
by Quetelet, sanctioned by the Statistical Congress, and 
places the scientific statistical tasks in the foreground, in 
conformity with the conception of modern statistics. Since 
that time the Statistical Council has continued to exist as 
the chief advisory authority. According to the wording of 
the law, the jurisdiction of the Council is very extensive. 
It is its duty to render definite opinions about the organ- 
ization for enumerations of the population and other 
undertakings exceeding the authority of the individual 
administrative offices, and in regard to the schedules for 
administrative statistics; to provide for the uniform compil- 
ation of the statistical data collected by the statistical offices 
of the different admioistrative departments; to give advice 
in regard to the organization of the special and provincial 
offices; to care for the training of administrative statisti- 
cians; and to adjust the relations of the statistical officers 
of the local governments to the organs of the general ad- 

The law governing the Council contains a clause, however, 
which nulMes its apparently wide jurisdiction: it gives 
advice ex officio only, in regard to those questions which 
directly interest the Ministry of the Interior; and in all 
other cases only when asked for it by the respective minis- 
tries. But, as a matter of fact, the latter hardly ever hap- 
pens, and the advisory activity of the Council therefore 


becomes restricted to the statistics of the branches of the 
Department of the Interior. The composition of the Coun- 
cil leaves much to be desired. The majority of its members 
are higher officials who have little interest in statistics as 
such. The administrative statistics are represented by the 
director and one of the assistants (editors) of the Central 
Statistical Office; the science of statistics, by the respective 
member of the Academy of Sciences, the professor of sta- 
tistics in the University of Petrograd and the chairman of the 
statistical section of the Geographical Society. 

On the whole, the Council may be said to lead a practically 
fictitious existence. In the course of the fourteen years 
from 1895 to 1908 it did not meet more than ten or eleven 
times and then, as a rule, only to discuss plans for the enu- 
meration of the urban population. The plan for the great 
population enimaeration of 1897 it was called upon to ap- 
prove only in its general features, the details being entrusted 
to a special central commission. It is scarcely an exaggera- 
tion to say that the total activity of the Council should be 
placed at zero. The reason for such unfruitfulness is found 
in the defects of the law and in the endeavor of the individual 
departments to assert their independence in questions of 
practical statistics, — an endeavor that is not foreign to the 
Central Statistical Office of the Ministry of the Interior, 
which, according to the wording of the law, is in duty bound 
to follow the directions of the Council. 

In conformity with the law of 1863, the Central Statistical 
Office is charged with the examination and compilation of 
the material provided by the local authorities (to be men- 
tioned later on). It shall also compile the data transmitted 
by other offices and give them the necessary statistical form. 
Finally, it is to undertake and complete all manner of sta- 
tistical work with which it may be charged by the Minister 
of the Interior, according to the resolutions of the Statistical 
Council; and this is the clause of the law out of which 
the real statistical activity of the central bureau has 


At the head of the bureau is a director with the rank 
of a ministerial director. The number of scientific assistants 
(editors), originally eight, was increased considerably during 
the census period, 1895 to 1905, but in later years has been 
reduced to ten. 

The oflBce furthermore has a clerical force occupied with 
tabulating and administrative duties and commands a fund, 
fixed by appropriation, to bear the cost of its statistical 
undertakings. The pecuniary allowance to the Central 
Office is, however, very meager. Even today it receives 
all told the insignificant sum of only 57,000 roubles, while, 
for instance, the appropriation of the German Imperial 
Statistical Office amounts to 2,200,000 marks and that of the 
Prussian Bureau to 650,000 marks. In contrast, also, the 
Biu"eau of the Revenue Department of Russia, which has to 
do with a single branch of administrative statistics, relatively 
of secondary importance, enjoys an appropriation of more 
than 100,000 roubles. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at 
that the office in the Ministry of the Interior, which was 
planned as a statistical central authority, and is so called, 
should be obliged gradually to limit its regular activity to a 
few branches of statistics. More than once the material 
collected has remained untouched for a long time because of 
lack of money. Thus the office could not continue the study 
of landed property, begun in 1905, until a year later, when 
political conditions moved the ministerial council to ap- 
propriate the necessary sum of 10,000 roubles from an extra 
fund at its disposal. The material gathered in 1910 in re- 
gard to wages in agriculture lay untouched for almost two 
years, and not until 1912, after the Duma had been especially 
petitioned for the necessary money, could it be compiled. 
The publication of the works of the office is all too frequently 
subject to unconscionable delays. For instance, the statistics 
of the natural movement of population for 1873 did not ap- 
pear until the year 1882, and even in the summer of 1914, 
the last issue at hand was for the year 1907. The publica- 


tion of the study of landed property of 1887 was not begun 
until 1892 and appeared in serial form as late as in 1900. 

In far worse condition is the organization of the local 
offices. In Russia there exists in reality only a mediating 
and no observing statistical authority. The provincial 
statistical offices, established in 1834 and reorganized in 
1860, function in the former capacity. According to the 
Russian adminstrative terminology they are known as 
"government" offices, and by the law of 1860 constitute a 
species of administrative boards, under the chairmanship 
of the governor with the leading provincial representatives 
as regular members, and having the right to elect persons who 
on account of their knowledge or experience concerning the 
objects of the local statistics may prove serviceable as actual, 
or in certain cases, as honorary members. Each office has at 
its disposal the very insufficient sum of 1,500 to 2,000 roubles, 
out of which must be paid the salary of the only working 
force of the office, its secretary. The secretaries are ap- 
pointed by the governors, and, as a rule, are ordinary of- 
ficials in the provincial administration of whose competence 
in statistical matters there is no guarantee, and who generally 
combine their statistical functions with purely administrative 
ones, and must do so in view of their miserable salary (1,750 
roubles). According to the spirit of the law, the provincial 
offices thus organized are conceived of as "administrative 
and learned societies"; in fact, their existence as boards 
is purely fictitious, and the entire provincial office is per- 
sonified by the statistically unequipped secretary. It is not 
to be wondered at that the provincial offices, or more cor- 
rectly their secretaries, to cite once more official evidence, 
"are not in a position to undertake serious tasks of any kind; 
their entire activity is, as a rule, limited to the compilation 
of the statistical tables as appendices to the accounts of the 
governors. " It is, therefore, " not possible for them to treat 
material at their disposal critically, and they are generally 
restricted to the obligatory compilations and groupings." 
Occasionally the provincial offices, or rather their secretaries, 


are called in by the Central Office to participate in the in- 
vestigations undertaken by it, and they then play the rdle 
of a supervisory and formally controlling authority, for 
which they have very little aptitude. As a characteristic 
instance may be mentioned the crop statistics. Originally 
the schedules filled out (see below) were collected by the 
provincial offices, formally supervised by them and trans- 
mitted to the Central Office; but they proved so useless 
for this task that the Central Office after 1894 released them 
from all participation in the crop investigations, and since 
that time the schedules have been transmitted to it directly 
from the inferior administrative boards. 

The lower mediums for collecting information are in the 
worst condition. The Russian administrative statistics do 
not command any. According to the striking saying of a 
Russian expert (Kotelnikow), the statistical equipment may 
be compared to an army which has at its disposal a general 
staff, something akin to officers in the shape of provincial 
boards, but no soldiers. The functions of the lower mediums 
of investigation are discharged chiefly by the clergy, the 
district police, and last but not least by the district com- 
munity administration (fVohstnoje Prawlenie). The clergy 
furnish the facts in regard to the natural movement of popu- 
lation. It is the duty of the district police to provide all 
the data which are to be incorporated in the tables of the 
governors' reports. The district community administra- 
tions are maids of all work. It is their business to answer all 
kinds of statistical and non-statistical inquiries and, as we 
shall see later, especially those of the Central Statistical 
Office, and they are in part individual observing organs and 
in part a medium for the distribution and collection of sched- 
iiles to be filled out concerning the rural population. "In 
regard to the methods to be observed in collecting statistical 
data, neither the law" — according to official evidence — "nor 
instructions of any kind provide any guidance whatsoever, 
and for this reason the data cannot be considered to be 
worthy of serious treatment." Relative particularly to 


the district community administrations, the same official 
evidence states that "in a few instances where the question 
is of facts and where very simple interrogatories are made, 
they are capable of furnishing satisfactory statements. The 
impossibility of exercising any control by or of giving any 
instruction through the higher authorities and the over- 
burdening of the lower boards by current administrative 
duties in most cases exclude the possibility of obtaining 
complete and trustworthy data through them. " 

After all that has been said, the general verdict in regard 
to the Russian administrative statistics as a whole must 
be a completely unfavorable one. A thorough reform in 
organization has become a crying necessity, and had not the 
World War broken out it would perhaps already have been 
realized. Half a century ago the organization had taken 
a great step in advance, — a progress so great that we have 
not caught up with it until this very day. For notwith- 
standing all its defects, the reorganization of 1863 brought 
about something akin to the scheme evolved by the best 
European practice and sanctioned by the Statistical Con- 
gress. The newly created central boards were for the first 
time given statistical aims, and it is very much to be doubted 
if, under the general existing Russian conditions, it would 
have been possible to create an organization corresponding 
more nearly to our present-day conception. Yet every or- 
ganization is but a form which may be given very different 
contents according to circumstances. In this respect the 
first two decades were far better than the following two. 

The reorganization of the Russian administrative statis- 
tics was planned and carried out by a very eminent per- 
sonality, the renowned geographer and statistician, P. Sseme- 
now. He became the first director of the Central Office 
and was at the same time chairman of the Statistical Council. 
He imbued the newly created organization with a scientific 
statistical spirit. He brought to the task as secretaries or 
vice presidents of the provincial offices, which today have 
sunk so low, a number of notable personalities (Ssablin, 


Lasarewski, Stscherbina, Pokrowski, Gaziski, Anutschin, 
Jegunow, Jahnson, and others), each of whom has played a 
r6le in the history of the development of Russian statistics. 
These men saw in him, according to the testimony of the 
only one still surviving (Pokrowski), "an energetic and ex- 
perienced leader who first of all was concerned about scientific 
and conscientious endeavor in the collection and preparation 
of the material. " He knew how to unite energy and firmness 
in leadership with an appreciation both of individual in- 
itiative and independence in the assistants appointed for the 
provinces. It suffices to call attention to one fact which 
under Russian political conditions is especially noteworthy 
and up to the present time without a counterpart: In the 
year 1870 he called a meeting of the provincial secretaries 
at which the proposition for the census of population, the 
reorganization of the local statistical boards, and a number of 
other basic questions of Russian administrative statistics 
were to be discussed. As chief of the Central Office, Sseme- 
now knew how to draw to himself a number of eminent men 
as assistants, and it even appears that in filling the position 
of editors he followed the principle of selection. He was 
not only the chief but at the same time also the first and most 
gifted scientific worker of the Central Office. In the case 
of large statistical investigations made during his time, he 
would personally execute the experimental work used as a 
basis for the final methods of treatment. And when the 
inquiries lay close to his scientific and social interests, he 
would in person finish the scientific treatment of the material 
which had been prepared according to his plans. Thus the 
entire text of the volumes constituting the studies of landed 
property in 1877, which in scientific statistical respects stand 
alone, is his. This achievement in itself would be enough 
to give the author a name in the history of Russian statistics. 
To Ssemenow are also due the methodological bases of both 
branches of the administrative statistics upon which the 
activity of the Central Office centered in the following dec- 
ades — ^the statistics of the natural movement of population 


and the crop statistics. In regard to the latter the large 
plans formulated by Ssemenow have as yet not been fully 

Still another characteristic trait of the activity of the 
Central Office which prevailed until about the middle of the 
nineties, must be noticed, namely, the extraordinary di- 
versity of the subjects which were treated statistically. The 
reason for this is perhaps, in part, the scientific many-sided- 
ness of Ssemenow and in part, the very varied scientific 
qualifications of his assistants, among whom were to be 
foimd monetary specialists (H. Kauffmann), actuaries (Oc- 
hotschinski), and others. Perhaps more important was the 
circumstance that the late extensive development of special 
offices had scarcely begun and that, therefore, the statistical 
office in the Ministry of the Interior was obliged actually to 
function as a central authority, to assume responsibility, 
and to imdertake the most varied investigations which were 
of interest to the government. However this may be, the 
variety of the objects with which the Central Office had to 
concern itself is a noteworthy fact. Aside from the two 
fields to which at that time chief attention was directed — 
population statistics and agrarian statistics — ^its publica- 
tions covered schools, prostitution, railways, monasteries, 
river navigation, foreign commerce, manufacture, religious 
statistics, banking and money, the mathematical basis of 
insurance, post and telegraphic statistics, criminal statistics, 

In the middle of the eighties Ssemenow was obliged to 
resign the leadership of the Central Office on account of 
differences of opinion with the Minister of the Interior, 
Count D. A. Tolstoj, and only retained the chairmanship of 
the Statistical Council which had been relegated to a purely 
nominal existence. He hoped to see as his successor a 
man of scientific attainment and first recommended the 
ethnologist, L. N. Majkow, who later became the vice 
president of the Academy of Sciences, and then Professor 
J. E. Jahnson, one of the most prominent representatives 


of the science of statistics in Russia. But the minister 
decided otherwise and chose as Ssemenow's successor a 
governor, N. A. Trojnitzki, a man who until the day of his 
appointment had been a stranger to statistics. He re- 
mained in office almost twenty years and was thereafter, 
until his death, President of the Statistical Council. This 
was a period of stagnation from which his three successors 
in office were not able to extricate themselves. These three 
successors were General Solotarew, formerly professor of 
military statistics at the Academy of War, and Messrs. 
Georgiewski and Bjelawski, both professors of political 

On the other hand, it was noteworthy of this period in the 
development of the statistics of the Central Office, that its 
activities gradually became circumscribed. In the diflferent 
departments of administration special statistical divisions 
were established and the Central Office, according to official 
evidence, "no longer utilized its exceedingly limited means 
and forces for the observation of matters that came within 
the authority of the individual special officer." The activity 
of the Central Office was therefore concentrated on the fields 
which "from the nature of the case had attracted its special 
attention from the beginning: the statistics of population 
and agriculture." To them were added the compilation of 
a census of horses, statistics of fires, and the publication of 
statistical year books. 

77. The Work and Publications of the Central Statistical 

It was originally intended that the principal publications 
of the Central Office should form first one, then two con- 
tinued series. From 1866 to 1887, one series bore the general 
title "Statistical Journal of the Russian Empire"; later 
two series appeared, one (since 1887) bearing the general 
title "Statistics of the Russian Empire," the other (since 
1888) that of "Journal of the Central Statistical Office." 
But by no means all the publications of the Central Office 


were incorporated in these series; and it is not quite evident 
to one outside the office what principle of selection was fol- 
lowed. Thus, for instance, one of the publications on agra- 
rian statistics appeared in the series of the Journal, while 
others were not incorporated in it. Some of the year books 
as well were incorporated in this series, while the others were 
published independently. 

We shall dwell first on the statistical undertakings and 
publications of the Central Office which bear the character 
of separate or periodically recurrent works, and then consider 
those having the stamp of continued statistics. In the first 
category belongs the first and until today only general enu- 
meration of population, dating from 1897. Before that 
year Russia had no scientific statistical census of population. 
Until the middle of the nineteenth century the registration 
of the population, the so-called "revisions," was used as a 
basis. These "enumerations," which formerly obtained in 
other countries, were decidedly of a fiscal-political character, 
being marked by all the defects common to their kind, and 
they cannot be brought into comparison with a regular 
census, moreover, for the reason that they included only 
the classes liable to a head tax and to military service — 
peasants and common citizens, and not the so-called "priv- 
ileged classes." According to an ordinance of 1843, the 
revisions in question should occur once in fifteen years, but 
this rule was not observed. The ninth revision (of 1850) 
followed seventeen years after the eighth; the tenth followed 
the ninth after an interval of eight years and was the last of 
its kind. From 1858 to 1897 the Russian statistics were 
obliged to fall back upon other and, on the whole, even less 
trustworthy substitutes. Among these are to be mentioned 
in the first place the so-called "family registers" which were 
kept up for the purpose of recording the persons liable to 
nailitary service, and for which the lists of the tenth revision 
were used as a basis, the necessary additions and subtractions 
being entered currently. Moreover, "administrative and 
police estimates of population were made through the aid of 


local statistical oflSces, the police, and %he district community 
administrations. " Information obtained in this manner was 
"compared with the data in the Central Office and published 
after having been carefully tested." It is easy to see that 
population statistics brought together in this fashion had 
little claim to statistical validity. The preface to the Year 
Book for 1882 says: "The Central Office had abundant 
opportunil^ to convince itself of the untrustworthiness 
of the current population figures; it has long since felt sure 
that one should use them only in anticipation of a census, 
and that without it no partial test even under the most favor- 
able circumstances will yield thoroughly satisfactory re- 
sults." Accordingly in the sixties, preparations and plans 
were made by Ssemenow, or on his initiative, for a regular 
enumeration of population. In 1870 a preliminary plan 
was discussed by a gathering of provincial statisticians. 
In 1874 Ssemenow took advantage of the establishment of 
a commission charged with formulating the registration 
methods relative to persons liable to military service and 
submitted to it a plan for a census. This commission did 
not adopt the scheme, but carried out one of the most es- 
sential preliminary efforts for promoting a census, namely 
that of making a register of all the habitations in the country. 
This plan was actually effected during the years 1876 and 
1877 and proved one of the most valuable of the older sources 
of the Russian population statistics. It is known as " Com- 
munity Districts and the More Important Settlements of 
European Russia," 1880 to 1886. 

In 1882 the plan for the population enumeration was 
submitted to the Statistical Council; but again there was 
a delay. In 1894 the Council took it up again, and in 
1895 the proposition for the "First General Census of the 
Population" finally became a law. The 28th of January 
(Feb. 9), 1897, was fixed as the date of the enumeration, 
and an appropriation of 3,900,000 roubles was made to 
cover the cost of the preparation and canvass. The pro- 
gram for the enumeration was on the whole like that usu- 



ally followed in European censuses. It had the advantage 
that, in addition to the principal calling of the person 
enumerated, any subsidiary occupation was noted, which was 
quite essential in view of the faint industrial distinctions 
made in Russia. Among the drawbacks may be mentioned 
partly those connected with the legal class distinctions 
still observed in Russia, and partly the practical objects 
aimed at in connection with standing questions, such as 
relationship to social classes and liability to military serv- 
ice. It was necessary to reckon with the low degree of 
education among the Russian agricultural population and to 
prescribe their oral interrogations through the enumerators. 
For the urban population and the domains of the nobility, 
written statements were unfortunately required. A so- 
called "Chief Commission of Population Enumeration" 
was at the head of the whole organization of the census; 
and although its chairman was an expert of the standing of 
Ssemenow (the nominal president was the Minister of the 
Interior), the preponderant majority consisted of officials 
from the different departments. The local organization of 
the census suffered even to a greater extent from bureau- 
cracy. The provincial and district organizations consisted 
siinply of boards of officials. The functions of the superin- 
tendents of the enumeration districts were ex qffido laid upon 
the rural officials known as semskije Natschalniki. Another 
great difficulty was the lack of properly qualffied persons as 
enumerators. It was necessary to employ men possessing 
a very low degree of education and intelligence. Originally 
it was intended that the Chief Census Commission should 
not only carry out the enumeration but direct the tabulation. 
In May of 1898, however, the Commission was dissolved, the 
preparation of the material was turned over to the Central 
Statistical Office, and for this purpose the number of assist- 
ants (editors) had been doubled. At the outset the Central 
Office confined itself to a plan calling for twenty tables 
which had been perfected by the Chief Census Commission. 
But it was soon found to be too complicated and impracti- 


cable considering the forces and means at hand and was 
therefore much simplified. Nevertheless the original ap- 
propriation of 3,900,000 roubles did not suffice, and it was 
necessary to supplement it by a guarantee of 1,300,000 
roubles. The total cost of making the enumeration and 
compiling the results was still only 5,200,000 roubles, equal 
to 4.2 copecks per capita of the population enumerated, 
while for instance at tie "Union Census of 1900" the enu- 
meration of the population alone cost 13.5 copecks per capita. 

Much of the work done at this time has been subject to 
criticism. The lack of properly worked-out plans and in 
general of leadership has been emphasized, in consequence of 
which especially the statistics of occupation sufiPered from 
defects. The final results of the census were first published 
in separate bulletins for each of the provinces and for four 
large cities. The first twenty bulletins appeared according 
to the original plan, those following, according to the abbre- 
viated plan. The general results of the enumeration ap- 
peared in two volumes in 1905 containing all the data for the 
provinces and the large cities, some tables for the larger 
industrial regions, and a classification of occupations and 
age in totals for the whole country. Aside from this, some 
special tabulations were made showing the confessional 
divisions of the population, according to occupation and age 
for the different districts; statistics of laborers as distinct 
from servants classified by occupation and place of birth; 
statistics of the blind; and separate statistics of the old 
form orthodox believers and sects according to religious 
communities and sex. 

The law governing the population census of 1895 related 
solely to the enumeration of 1897 and did not fix any period 
for following enumerations. Indeed, as yet no second enu- 
meration has been made. Already seventeen years have 
passed since the first, and its data, especially in view of 
the rapid economic development of Russia, are completely 
antiquated. And in regard to mere numbers of population 
we once more must take refuge in estimates which, as is suf- 


ficiently well known, are quite unreliable. From all sides, 
in scientific as well as in commercial circles, is voiced the 
demand for a new enumeration. But only comparatively 
recently, so far as I know first in 1913, has the Central Sta- 
tistical Office undertaken to prepare plans for a second gen- 
eral census of population. Of the first steps taken, little 
or nothing has been told the public. In the course of the 
winter of 1913-14, a draft of the new population census law 
was submitted to the Duma accompanied by a request for 
the necessary appropriation. In the beginning of 1914 a 
commission was established under the direction of the present 
president of the Statistical Council, Privy Councillor Pro- 
fessor Georgiewski, to which also some representatives of 
statistical science were added. The commission has planned 
much more elaborate schedules and corresponding instruc- 
tions for carrying them out than those obtaining in 1897. 
It also appears that the leading persons in the Central Sta- 
tistical Office are inclined to meet the demands formulated 
by experts which were very definitely set forth at the con- 
vention of statisticians in 1910 and which will give the entire 
organization less of a bureaucratic character by securing it 
scientffic aid and cooperation throughout wider social circles. 
However, the European war has now intervened and the 
enumeration which was fixed for December, 1915, has been 
postponed for the present. 

Of statistical undertakings and publications in the field 
of agricultural and rural economy, the three studies of landed 
property of 1877, 1887, and 1905 are first to be mentioned. 
The earliest one, which was far above the level of the Russian 
statistics of that time and until the present day without a 
counterpart, was planned and carried out by Ssemenow. We 
mentioned above the lists prepared in the second half of the 
seventies of habitations which were to be classffied according 
to land-owning units. Ssemenow, who had been one of the 
participants in the agrarian reform of 1861 and always en- 
tertained a lively interest in questions of landed property, 
especially that of the peasants, now succeeded, as the official 


story of the Central Office tells it, "in utilizing this oppor- 
tunity to make an investigation of the properties themselves 
in order to find a means of controlling the data in regard to 
habitations and also to obtain a basis for the statistics of 
landed property. " The investigation took place in the year 
1877 and its results were published in 1880-1886 in eight 
volumes, under the title "Statistics of Landed Property." 
For each community or private property a special schedule 
was used. It was filled out, so far as the peasant communi- 
ties were concerned, by the district conamunity administra- 
tions and by the proprietors for the private properties. The 
district police were put in charge of the distribution, col- 
lection and oversight of the schedules, while the material 
obtained was submitted to the scrutiny of the provincial 
statistical offices and thereupon, at the end of 1877, trans- 
mitted to the Central Statistical Office. It was furthermore 
ordered that from each province the material relating to a 
single district should be transmitted, and when this ex- 
perimental material had been tested the provincial officers 
were to be given further instructions in regard to the con- 
tinuation and control of the investigation; and when nec- 
essary, additions to the material collected were to be in- 
sisted upon. The preparation of the material followed both 
administrative and geographic lines. The administrative 
district was taken as a unit, but within every province groups 
of districts of similar natural and economic conditions were 
formed, and for each of these totals and averages were calcu- 
lated which enabled the formation of greater economic and 
geographic fields to be dealt with in corresponding numbers. 
Special tables were prepared for private and for peasant 
property. First the number of property units and the area 
of usable land and of cultivated land are given; secondly, a 
grouping of the private properties for the total area, and 
of the peasant community property according to the number 
of participating individuals, based on calculations of the 
number of males derived from the tenth "revision." In 
the same publication special tables show the number of 


different categories of habitations and of buildings, the latter 
being classified according to the building material and roof- 
ing. Unfortunately, I cannot dwell on Ssemenow's text 
accompanying the different parts of the publication which 
characterizes the conditions of landed property in the dif- 
ferent communities. 

The second study of landed property followed in 1887 
under Ssemenow's successor, Trojnitzki. It was combined 
with an investigation of the utilization of the area — a sta- 
tistical operation which will be referred to below in connec- 
tion with crop statistics. This amalgamation of two dif- 
ferent operations resulted to the injury of both on account 
of the inferior order of the technique and the lack of aptitude 
of the persons employed. The respective schedules were 
filled out on the one hand by the owners of private property 
and on the other by the district community administration. 
The first general test of the material by the district police 
was omitted, but so much greater emphasis was placed upon 
the test by the provincial statistical officers. The schedules 
filled out by the owners of private property arrived very 
slowly; the whole material was foimd to be so defective that 
for four provinces it could not be utilized at all, and the rest 
had to be supplemented and corrected through a new in- 
quiry. The publication was not finished until 1900. It 
appeared under the general title " Chief Results of the Sta- 
tistics of Landed Property According to the Investigation 
of 1887, " in separate bulletins for each province. The omis- 
sion of summary tables made the utilization of the publica- 
tion for any purpose whatsoever particularly difficult. 

The third investigation, undertaken in 1905, was clearly 
instigated by the agrarian movement which had continued 
unabated since 1902. The requisite data were sought by the 
provincial statistical offices, but strange to tell, no instruc- 
tions for their collection were issued. "In conformity with 
the variety of conditions in the single provinces," says the 
preface to the publications in question, "and in order not 
to bind the governors by designating any definite method 


of procedure, no method was prescribed." It was only rec- 
ommended that the governors should secure the assistance 
of the financial administration of the provinces and make 
tests by means of the tax records. The material obtained 
from the provinces remained untouched until the middle of 
1906; but it was then disposed of with unusual rapidity, so 
that in 1907 the publications of the results were already 
completed. They formed fifty numbers for the different 
provinces and a summary for the whole of European Russia 
under the title "Statistics of Landed Property in 1905." 
As the piu-pose of the publication was not only to exhibit the 
distribution of landed property at the moment, but also to 
show the changes that had taken place since 1877, the tabula- 
tion followed in general the plan of the first inquiry with the 
one striking difference, that the groupings of the rural popu- 
lation according to peasant property was carried out not 
according to the participating individuals but according 
to average numbers of such calculated for each holding. 
This was due to the still existing predilection in Russian 
governmental circles for the classification of property by 
holdings, but critically considered it is nevertheless a de- 
fective designation on account of the existing property 
conditions in Russia. 

For the rest, the judgment of the scientific critics (v. 
Dehn, Skworzow, Ssirinow, and others) agreed in regard to 
the comparative value of the three principal Russian in- 
vestigations of landed property. They lacked comparability, 
first, because of the indefinite methods of investigation 
followed in the different provinces in 1905, and secondly, be- 
cause of the variety of principles in classifications adopted 
in 1877 and 1905. Furthermore, the difference in treatment 
makes it impossible to determine in each individual case 
whether it is included in the general figures or left out. The 
unanimous verdict of scientific criticism is most favorable to 
the investigation of 1877 which "had the statistical investi- 
gation of landed property as its only aim and was carried 
out with great thoroughness according to a well-conceived 


and broad plan. Therefore, the investigation of 1877-1878 
provides a very complete picture of landed property at the 
end of the seventies.*' The investigation of 1877 "was, on 
the other hand, carried on according to a very superficial and 
poorly thought out program, while the preparation of the 
material was careless and suffers from great defects. " The 
investigation of 1905 stands closer to the one of 1877 in regard 
to plan, but the results were to a considerable extent invali- 
dated by the peculiar liberty in methods of procedure which 
was permitted the governors of the different provinces. 

To the same category of the works of the Central Sta- 
tistical Office belongs also the enumeration of horses. The 
official statistics of live stock in Russia are of a very low 
order. In reality, they are based solely upon the reports of 
the governors which have a very slight claim to trustworthi- 
ness as statistics. The numbers thus obtained were compiled 
from time to time by the central office and given out in its 
different publications. Nevertheless, the official history of 
the central office states that "the condition of live stock in 
Russia cannot be determined as for this purpose a special 
eniuneration is necessary which would require large ex- 
penditures. " As the central office does not dispose over the 
necessary means, it resolved in 1900 to secure the numbers 
of domestic animals, but in a likewise very incomplete man- 
ner, namely, by aid of the district police and the district 
community administrations. The numbers derived from 
this source are published as for the provinces in the current 
reviews of the crops. A presentation according to districts 
.was made only once, namely, in 1900, and the results pub- 
lished in the "Journal." A more exact registration of the 
stock of horses was demanded on behalf of the army. Ex- 
perimental queries of this kind by the central office were pub- 
lished already in 1875 and 1876 and the experience thus 
gained formed the basis of the first "regulations for enu- 
merating the stock of horses. " An enumeration carried on 
in conformity with these regulations in 1876 in 33 provinces 
and undertaken with a view to the approaching war with 


Turkey, yielded incomplete results. Therefore in 1882 new 
regulations were prepared and in the same year a new enu- 
meration of horses was made in 58 provinces, that is to 
say, for almost the whole of European Russia. For a long 
time it was the only one so extensive. As a rule, periods of 
two to three years elapsed between investigations, all of 
which related only to a number of provinces, except the 
one of 1912 which covered almost the whole of European as 
well as of Asiatic Russia. 

The procedure in enumerating horses includes two steps. 
First, complete lists of horses, classified according to sex 
and age, are obtained from the supervisors of the military 
horse districts. Then it is ascertained through officers, with 
the assistance of district supervisors, how many of them are 
of work age and generally serviceable. The results of these 
inquiries are very reliable as may be seen from the minimal 
differences between the compilations made by Professor 
Fortunatow and the numbers obtained through the zemstvo 
statistics. The compilation of the figures is made in the 
Central Statistical Office according to a plan originating in 
the time of Ssemenow, partly for the provinces and partly 
for districts. The tables contain totals with a classification 
of horses by sex, age and measure, and of the owners ac- 
cording to their urban or rural place of residence and class 
of society. The owners are also shown in relation to the 
total number of horses as well as the number of those of 
proper work age. Taken altogether, these statistics of both 
classes constitute a most valuable material for the purpose 
of judging the evolution of the general wealth of the popu- 
lation and the differences it exhibits. But in the latter 
respect the value is diminished by the circumstance that the 
enumeration of horses as a rule only relates to a part of the 

Brief mention must be made of the lists of all habitations 
in the different provinces which were published between 1861 
and 1888. The lists contained for each dwelling the essential 
data of topographic and demographic character and were 


for the greater part accompanied by statistical geographic 
descriptions of the respective provraces and by maps. At 
the time these lists, and especially the iatroductory descrip- 
tions, constituted one of the most important statistical- 
geographic sources of knowledge for many, if not for all, 
of the provinces, and it is to be deplored that no work of 
the same kind has been undertaken since. A somewhat 
similar aim was followed in a publication dating from the 
years 1880-1886, and comprised in eight volumes which 
bear the title " Community Districts and the Most Important 
Settlements of European Russia." It contains the results 
of the above-mentioned investigation of 1877 planned as a 
preparatory work to a general census. It gives for each 
commimity district the number of rural villages and dwellings, 
the area of the peasant lands and property of other cate- 
gories, and the population; furthermore, a list of the most 
important habitations for each district with notations of a 
geographic and demographic character, and a list of the 
community and police districts. Analogous publications 
appeared in 1890-1892 imder the title "Population Districts 
and Gminen (Polish Communities)," and in 1894 under the 
title "The Population of the Village Comimunities and the 
Communal Lands according to the Investigation of 1893." 
For the last mentioned of these publications the data were 
obtained from the supervisors of the community districts, 
who for that pm-pose had to visit all the parishes within their 
districts. Finally, in 1905, the work was published under 
the title "Settlements with More than Five Hundred In- 
habitants, " and is an extract of the results of the population 
enumeration of 1897, to some extent intended to supplement 
the lack of a complete accoimt of the settlements. 

A number of the publications of the Central Statistical 
Office relate to the cities and their population. As noted at 
the outset, the first of their kind date from the first half of 
the nineteenth centiu-y. Without dwelling on the publica- 
tions of that period, I wish to mention the extensive work in 
seven volumes known as "The Urban Settlements of Russia," 


prepared in the Ministry of the Interior for the years 
1860-1863, and in part of a statistical nature. Later publi- 
cations in regard to the condition of the cities date from the 
years 1904 and 1910. According to the official history of the 
central office, the data in question were compiled "without 
expensive special investigations through the means and 
forces at the disposal of the office itself in conjunction with 
the provincial offices, and so far as the larger cities were 
concerned, with the cooperation of the city administration. " 
These investigations relate throughout to municipal ad- 
ministrations and other centers of more than 10,000 in- 
habitants, 'and although cast into tabular form are in the 
nature of descriptions with special reference to benevolent 
provisions and the conditions of living of the urban popula- 
tion. Strange to say, in the publication of 1904 there are 
found 36 cities for which the central office did not obtain 
the necessary data, including the capital, Petrograd. In 
the investigation of 1910 this city is represented, to be sure, 
but most of the questions relating to it remained unanswered. 
We turn next to the publications of current statistics. 
First are to be mentioned the statistics of the natural move- 
ment of population. As is well known, births, deaths and 
marriages in Russia are registered by the clergy at the time 
of the consummation of the corresponding ritual acts. The 
registration is made in chm-ch books according to a form 
fixed in 1838 and in part earlier. I shall not dwell on the 
well-known defects which are inseparable from the registra- 
tion by the clergy, but emphasize that only in the large 
places and in a few provinces do the clergy, in addition to 
the matters entered in the church books, fill out statistical 
cards to be transmitted to the provincial or municipal sta- 
tistical offices for compilation. As a rule, the preparation 
of the material is completely decentralized, for every priest 
makes the necessary extracts from his church books accord- 
ing to the prescribed tabular formula and only these extracts 
are transmitted for collective treatment to the provincial 
offices and then to the central office. In consequence of 


this procedure, the contents of the notations and likewise 
of the publication ensuing, which appears in annuals under 
the title "Movement of the Population," are very scanty. 
Among the entries made, that pertaining to the religious 
confession is given first place, then the facts relating to the 
movement of population by months, then by sex and age. 
The births are classified as legitimate and illegitimate. Sep- 
arate statements are prepared for the rural inhabitants, the 
larger cities and other cities. Facts of occupation, condi- 
tions of dwelling, and causes of death are not registered and 
therefore do not appear in the resulting publications. These 
questions have a place in the schedules relating to a few of 
the large municipalities and are dealt with in local publica- 

Another branch of statistics receiving current attention 
but naturally necessitating a much more complicated system, 
and in which a certain progress has been made in contrast to 
most other classes of statistics in the central oflSce, are the 
crop statistics. As we shall see later on, crop statistics 
are collected not only by the central oflSce in the Ministry 
of the Interior, but also in the Ministry of Agriculture and 
partly in the Ministry of Finance. Naturally, they should 
sort under the Ministry of Agriculture. The reason why 
the Central Statistical Office in the Ministry of the Interior 
is concerned with them is that it has to do with all matters 
pertaining to the conservation of grain, of great importance 
in Russia on account of the frequent failure of the crops, and 
it is therefore in a practical sense more interested than any 
other office in timely reports concerning crop prospects and 
the harvest. Until the beginning of the sixties the ministry 
depended upon reports received from the lower administra- 
tive and police offices and which lacked almost all reliability. 
As soon as the Central Statistical Office had been given its 
present form (1864 and 1865) it attempted to present statis- 
tically the facts in regard to seeding and harvest for the 
quinquennial period 1860-1864, but the results were so un- 
satisfactory that they could not be published. In the sue-, 


ceeding years, 1866-1868, a special investigation of the 
then existing administrative methods of reporting the crops 
was made by Ssemenow, and, as might be expected, it showed 
their complete unfitness. No improvement was made; 
indeed only partial improvements occurred until 1880. The 
great famine of that year moved the administration to more 
earnest measures for the production of useful crop sta- 
tistics. A conference was held which adopted the prin- 
ciple of organization formulated by Ssemenow as early as 
1866. It called for an annual collection of reports in regard 
to the results of the harvest from a certain number of farms 
evenly distributed over the territory of each district, where- 
upon the average figures obtained were multiplied by the 
number of the area units of the corresponding kinds of grains 
cultivated. Already in the fall of the same year six schedules 
were sent to each district, of which three were filled out by 
the district administration accompanied by statements of 
opinion from peasants, and three by proprietors and owners 
of private property. In addition, "control schedules" were 
sent to be filled out by experienced cultivators. The method 
of reporting which thus was decided upon in 1880 is still in 
force, but the number of the schedules distributed was 
doubled already in the following year. Since that time 
twelve schedules are filled out for each community district, 
six by private and six by peasant cultivators, and for the last 
mentioned it is prescribed that two shall belong to the more 
well-to-do, two to the average class, and two to the poor. 
Since 1893 special schedules are distributed in regard to 
winter grains and hay and for the later grains, so that the 
central office is enabled to publish the chief results earlier 
so far as hay and winter grains are concerned. Until 1894 
the schedules filled out were sent to the provincial statistical 
offices for examination and transmittal to the central office. 
The only result obtained was that the provincial offices de- 
layed the entire operation and thereafter the schedules were 
sent directly to the central office by the community district ad- 
ministrations. The statistics in question have been published 


annually (since 1883 under the title "Harvest of the Year,'* 
etc.) and in sections, one for hay and winter grains and the 
second for summer grains and other crops. The totals for 
the different provinces are compared with those of the pre- 
ceding year and with the average for the last five years ; the 
average is also shown for the respective year for each dis- 
trict. Relative to each kind of grain is shown the total 
quantity seeded and harvested, the seeding and harvest 
of the areal units, the relation between harvest and seeding, 
the net amount harvested in total numbers and in averages 
per capita for the total population. 

The final results of the crop statistics of the central oflSce 
appear quite punctually, but first in the year following the 
harvest. For practical purposes, however, it is necessary to 
know the results of harvests as early as possible and to have 
information in regard to the prospects. Accordingly the 
preliminary compilation of the total results of the harvest 
is made in October for winter grains and in November for 
summer grains, and published by provinces. Moreover, 
a rather complicated system of preliminary reports has been 
developed. The most essential part of it is the crop forecast 
which has taken place annually since 1904. The method of 
investigation followed is in principle the same as that in 
regard to harvest results. The notations are indicated by 
numbers (from 5 to zero), and in compilation are calculated 
in weighted numbers according to fixed coeflficients. Since 
1910 the numbers obtained through the immediate investiga- 
tion are, moreover, corrected by the results of the previous 
year. In the same manner reports are obtained every fall 
in regard to the condition of the winter grains; but since 1906 
current reports are secured through the district police of the 
condition both of winter and summer grains. At the outset 
six reports were made, but gradually their number has in- 
creased to fourteen a year. They are tabulated as summaries 
and appear in the oflScial periodicals, the more important 
of them in the form of special pamphlets. 


For the purpose of determining the results of the harvest, 
for units as well as for the total area, it is necessary to know 
the area seeded in each kind of grain. According to Sseme- 
now's plan, the distribution of farming land was to be as- 
certained every five years in relation to its utilization as well 
as in relation to the cultivated area, classified according to 
grains and other crops, while in the intervening years the 
changes that might take place were to be learned from the 
local administrations. Basic investigations of this kind 
occurred only twice, namely, in 1881 and 1887. The first 
was carried out independently, the other, in connection with 
the second investigation of landed property. In both in- 
stances the method of procedure was the same as in the 
studies of landed property; but the reliability of the results 
was much inferior because it was impossible to test in any 
way the statements made by persons interested, and because 
the utilization of the soil cannot be definitely determined, es- 
pecially in places under primitive pastoral cultivation. The 
results of the inquiry of 1881 appear as an independent vol- 
ume under the title "Distribution of the Area According to 
Its Utihzation," while the study of 1887 was combined with 
that of landed property. 

The basic investigations of 1881 and 1887 have not been 
repeated. The Russian official statistics have not further 
concerned themselves at all about the distribution of the 
cultivated area according to its utilization. In regard to 
the seeded areas and their distribution according to crops, 
which it is imperative to know in order to calculate the pro- 
visions to be made for harvest and grains, the data of the 
investigation of 1887 were utilized until 1892. Since that 
time the necessary reports are obtained annually from the 
district police and the community district administrations. 
The first mentioned have to determine the seeded areas 
belonging to private cultivators, the second those of the 
peasant communities. The community district administra- 
tions obtain the required data through the village elder 


(starosta) who interrogates the different peasant cultivators 
or the village assembly. 

Among the publications of the Central Statistical OflSce 
which in the latest years have assumed a regular character, 
there is finally to be mentioned the statistical year books. 
The first of its kind appeared in 1852 and contained "Sta- 
tistical Tables for the Year 1840." When the Central 
Statistical OflBce was established in its original form it pur- 
posed to begin a regular issue of a year book. Accordingly, 
in 1860, "Statistical Tables of the Russian Empire for 1858" 
were published, but owing to the dearth of sources of sta- 
tistics these tables contained nothing but extracts from the 
reports of the governors. Subsequently, schedules and in- 
structions were sent to the police, at that time the only 
medium for investigation, in order to secure a regular supply 
of material for future year books. But the required data 
either were not obtained or proved for the greater part to be 
entirely unusable, so that for the year 1859 the publication 
of the tables had to be omitted. Those which finally did 
appear in 1863, edited by one of the most competent sta- 
tisticians of the time, v. Buschen, related to the year 1860 
and were of a wholly different character. They give, partly 
according to districts and partly in totals for provinces, only 
the most important data and chiefly those which in a measure 
were subject to control, covering such subjects as area, 
dwellings and population classified by sex, confession, and 
legal social class. Each of the five tables is accompanied by 
a detailed introduction fairly descriptive of the statistical 
and other sources of information and even today has an 
historical value. 

Soon after its reorganization (1863) the Central Statistical 
Office undertook the compilation of a year book having the 
character of a statistical reference book, as is customary in 
other states, and " which was intended to meet the demands 
which reached the office from every side for information in all 
fields of statistics." It was published in 1866 and contained 
"statements of the area, population and dwellings, of com- 


merce and industry, as well as criminal, educational, financial 
and military statistics. " The effort was not repeated for ten 
years as the central oflfice "realized the insufl&ciency of many 
data which in case of a new issue would have to be secured 
from the same unsatisfactory sources." In the beginning 
of the eighties the Central Statistical OflBce found itself in 
position, " as a result of the enrichment of our statistics by 
valuable material, to furnish thoroughly reliable and quite 
new data for most fields of statistics." Accordingly, in 
1884 there was published a year book or reference work for 
1882 and thereafter for the years 1883, 1884-5, 1890 and 
1896. As a rule, the publication was delayed from one to 
three years. The very numerous tables, more than eighty 
in all, fall under the following rubrics : Area, landed property 
and the utilisation of the soil, the condition of population 
and its movement, infectious diseases and medical aid, 
criminal statistics, education, military service, crops, live 
stock, commerce, industry, revenue, finance, railways, 
shipping, post and telegraphs, banks and money, etc. 

After 1896 another long pause occurred, but since 1904 
the Year Book of Russia, or, as it is now called, the Statistical 
Year Book, has been published regularly and quite punctu- 
ally. Its contents is of an encyclopedic character. In the 
last issues the numerous tables are grouped into divisions of 
varied extent, with the following headings: (1) Area and 
population, including education and occupation; (2) Move- 
ment of population; (3) Medical service and infectious 
diseases; (4) Judicial statistics; (5) Cities; (6) Landed 
property; (7) Farming, including statistics of crops, do- 
mestic animals and forestry; (8) Mining; (9) Industries; 
(10) Foreign commerce; (11) Railways and other means of 
communication; and (12) Finances and credit. Each group 
of tables is followed by>a brief text and a summary, and every 
number contains monographs discussing subjects of demo- 
graphic or economic statistical character. 

The sum total of the observations to be made after a 
survey of the work of the Central Statistical Office is rather 



discouraging and so admitted by its leading men. The or- 
ganization for administrative statistics apparently follows 
the best European model; but as a matter of fact, "two 
offices of secondary character were created: the one with- 
out authority, without obligations and without means, and 
therefore leading only a fictitious existence; the other with 
large duties and rights but lacking personnel and material 
means for performing its duties and exercising its rights and 
without any initiative whatsoever outside of the Ministry 
of the Interior." Nevertheless, "the sore spot in our sta- 
tistics is not to be sought in these but in the lowest organs 
charged with the duty of investigating." It is, therefore, 
not to be wondered at that "we not only do not know the 
condition of life in the individual parts of the most extensive 
state in the world, but not even the condition of the different